NUNZIANTE E MAGRONECAMACOES
Draft law regarding the ambush marketing
Di Niccolò Ferreti e Alessandro Zito
On 13 January 2020, the Cabinet, upon proposal of the Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, approved a draft law that introduces a new regulation on the ban of parasitic advertising (so-called ambush marketing).
The text provides for a general regulation on the repression of the parasitic advertising and the repression of the conducts that some economic operators, not authorized by regular sponsorship contracts, put in place with the aim of surreptitiously associating their trademarks or products to any symbol or logo of sport or fair events, of national or international relevance.
The new regulation identifies the events in which the conducts of ambush marketing have the greatest chance of manifesting itself. It also defines the more dangerous conducts, under an anti-competitive (or unfair competition) perspective, providing for an administrative sanctioning system aiming at protecting fair competition and a proper balance between, on the one hand, the protection of the economic expectations of the organizer and the official sponsor of an event and, on the other hand, the protection of advertising operators, mostly in the occasion of events with great media coverage.
The draft law has the purpose of excluding some conducts whose repression would result in an excessive limitation of the economic right to access to advertising channels (saturation marketing).
Moreover, the draft law identifies the lapse in which the parasitic advertising behaviors present concrete damage, being themselves connected to events whose media and advertising appeal has a limited duration of time.
The AGCM is the authority that ascertains and punishes the illicit conducts with administrative penalties that range from 500,00 to 2.500.000 euros.