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With numerous advertising messages contending for the responsiveness of the potential customers, it might be appropriate to determine that there is enormous pressure on both advertisers and advertising agencies to make sure that their advertisements are the most notable. Further seeing that the normal time taken to make an impression using sign board adverts is seemingly between five to three seconds, the pressure to make sure that an advert is efficient increases vitally (Waldo, 2012). As an outcome of the competition for the consideration of the potential customers, advertisers might feel attracted to overstate the features and qualities of services or products offered, or use other means of language that may result in being more notable than precise (Waldo, 2012).
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Taking account of the large investment sources gotten to tolerate behind advertising campaigns and the effect that effective campaign can have in attaining greater sales or greater customer commitment, it is not just the customers that are in need of protection from misleading adverts, but also trade competitors (Advertising Standards for the UAE, 2013). Misleading or overstated claims in adverts about the benefits of or features of a product may be detrimental to the sales of contending products and may incidentally indicate insufficiencies in contending products. For example, an assertion that product A gives you the complete satisfaction and there is no other product as such, this clearly indicates that other similar products in the market are insufficient in comparison with product A as they do not deliver same level of satisfaction (Setting up an advertising agency in the UAE, 2013).
In some dominions, such as for instance the UK, advertising is fundamentally structured through sovereign self-regulating bodies, as well as certain legislation. In the UAE no such self-regulating body exits and advertising is regulated through a mixture of requirements drafted from laws emphasizing on the protection of customers and on the other hand, the happenings of businesses that might establish prejudicial competition. The Executive Regulation to the Customer Protection Law delivers that the customers have a privilege to be delivered with the facts that support them in appropriate consumption and purchases. The Executive Regulation further precisely deals with advertising, providing: “No individual will be allowed to advertise in any medium any service or goods in a manner which results in mystifying or misleading customers.” (Waldo, 2012).
The Department for Customer Protection is the suitable governmental department which deals with customer complaints and the Customer Protection Law delivers for a minimum fine in the occurrence of an infringement of the law. Customers distressed by deceiving adverts may consequently address their complaints unswervingly to the Department for Customer Protection (Zainab, 2014). Additionally, to the provisions of the Customer Protection Law, the Suppression of Fraud Executive Regulation discourses salable declarations whether made indirectly or directly providing: “must be appropriate in all reverences whether placed on shops, inside shops, products, or on invoices, packaging, correspondence, advertising tool or material or any other things used to deliver goods to the customers.” Commercial statements are identified in the Fraud Regulation to comprise for instance the “specifications and power” and “configuration” of products and as such, advertising comprising germane claims that are not correct in any reverence will be in infringement of the Fraud Regulation. The domain of the Fraud Regulation is much inclusive than the sheer emphasize on “commercial statements” as demarcated therein, as it also delivers that a trader may not recourse to any approach that would mislead or confuse the customers as well as delivering that “A merchant, producer, manufacturer may not” (Michael, 2010).
Additionally, to the above stated regulation and laws governing advertising acts, the Commercial Transactions Law delivers additional protection to the potential competitors in trade that may be influenced by deceiving adverts. The Commercial Transactions Law delivers that a “dealer must not recourse to cheating and fraud when making his goods, nor may he publish or spread deceitful specifics that are detrimental to the interests of another competitor trader”. Where a dealer is shamefaced of disobeying this provision, it will be accountable to pay the damages (Anita, 2013).
Though, in UAE there is no existence of self-regulating body that delivers a platform for the submission and hearing of advertising associated complaints, the United Arab Emirates legal system delivers numerous mechanisms through which traders and customers can complain against deceiving and misleading advertising. There is consequently no reason for either customers or trader to accept deceiving and irresponsible adverts in the UAE, specifically where advertisers should take appropriate consideration of the vital language and cultural differences that occur in the customer population in the UAE (Michael, 2010).
There is a probability that the UAE governments increased emphasize on customer protection and attempts to make customers aware of their privileges as customers may lead to more crucial evaluation of advertising claims by both government officials and customers. In contradiction of the circumstantial of advertising regulation in the UAE and the greater general social accountability of advertisers to customers, advertisers should make sure as a top exercise that internal advertising authorization must also include suitable legal review and legal compliance authorization (Mo, 2013)
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Upon publication in the Federal Newspaper, the latest Advertising Standards will oblige to unite the various fundamentals regulating content in association to advertisements in the UAE, underlining numerous principle decrees (Anita, 2013).
With a perspective of making sure that the advertising industry’s act in accordance with the laws and regulations of the UAE, the latest Standards governing advertising are proposed to:
- Impart reverence for the local cultural, social and religious values and beliefs which triumph in the UAE.
- Fortify the independence of expression of the media.
- Form the advertising division as one which contributes to the progression of economic growth in the UAE and make sure that all advertising content is; honest, unbiased, have respect for the privacy of individuals and protects the public from detrimental effects (Anita, 2013).
The advertising Standards define ideologies in association to all old-style and digital adverts published or broadcast via any media organization and channel in the UAE. Though the advertising Standards does not set out the meaning of these terms, they may be perceived generally to involve advertisements issued by stores, for instance (Advertising Standards for the UAE, 2013).
Many of the Standards defined in the Advertising Standards repeat ideologies already formed under numerous prevailing regulations and legislations, while others comes with new laws regulating advertising content in the province and advertisements (Advertising Standards for the UAE, 2013). Here is the summary of the key standards below:
- Reverence for political and religion institutions – All the advertising content must account for respect to all religions and must not in any way offend Islamic values. It must not disregard the government of the UAE and/or the political institutions and symbols thereof.
- Forbidden services/products – The advertising Standards clearly forbid the advertising of products like alcohol, tobacco and all other banned products or services.
- Forbidden content – The standard forbid the publication of pictures and words that breach public ethics. They also forbid the propagation and spread of information that may prejudice women or children or public in general. The standard also forbids the incitement of hatred, sectarianism and violence through advertising content.
- Privacy – With a perspective to protect the privacy of the public, the Standards clearly forbids the broadcast and publication misleading rumors and news.
- Customer protection – The Standards mandate obedience with the rules regulating customer protection and commercial activities specifically in association to anti-competitive unlawful monopolies and practices.
- Health legislations – Advertising content associated pharmaceutical products or medicines must be in compliance with the laws defined by Cabinet Resolution No. 7 of 2007 Regarding Health Advertisements legislations.
The rules and regulations mentioned above is the framework of how advertisements are governed in the UAE. Any company selling their products or services in UAE must comply with all these rules and regulations when before marketing their product or advertising it, any failure to comply with these may lead to crucial penalties (Shani, 2010).
Advertising Standards for the UAE. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.thelawyer.com/briefings/advertising-standards-for-the-uae/3001344.article
Anita, S. (2013). ADVERTISING STANDARDS FOR THE UAE. Retrieved from http://www.tamimi.com/en/magazine/law-update/section-5/february-4/advertising-standards-for-the-uae.html
Michael, H. (2010). UAE Health Advertisements Regulation Could Challenge Industry. Retrieved from http://www.camlawblog.com/articles/international/uae-health-advertisements-regulation-could-challenge-industry/
Mo, A. (2013). The UAE National Media Council regulates dialects in advertising. Retrieved from http://www.measuredpr.com/2013/01/18/the-uae-national-media-council-regulates-dialects-in-advertising/
Setting up an advertising agency in the UAE. (2013). Retrieved from http://ameinfo.com/smeinfo/fact_finder/setting-up-an-advertising-agency-in-the-uae/
Shani, S. (2010). Consumer Protection Law of UAE. Retrieved from http://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=4999
Steve, B. (2014). Sports sponsorship: advertising restrictions in the GCC. Retrieved from http://www.sportspromedia.com/guest_blog/sports_sponsorship_advertising_restrictions_in_the_gcc
Waldo, S. (2012). Advertising Regulations in the UAE. Retrieved from http://www.tamimi.com/en/magazine/law-update/section-6/september-2/advertising-regulations-in-the-uae.html
Zainab, C. (2014). Misleading Trade Descriptions And Sanctions Thereof. Retrieved from http://www.thelawyer.com/briefings/advertising-standards-for-the-uae/3001344.article
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