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If you advertise in the Netherlands, you must observe the rules on misleading and comparative advertising. Advertising is misleading if you make claims which are incorrect or incomplete. It is comparative if your advertisement refers to the name of the competitor's product or service. Comparative advertising is permitted, but may not be misleading.
What rules apply to advertising?
The Dutch Advertising Code Authority (Stichting Reclame Code) has drawn up the Dutch Advertising Code (NRC). The NRC lays down rules to be met by advertising. Special advertising codes apply to certain products, such as foods, travel offers, alcohol and tobacco products.
When using social media advertising, you must adhere to the 2014 Advertising Code Social Media. If you put paid messages on for example Twitter or Facebook, this must be clear for the reader. You could do this by adding the hashtag #spon (sponsored post) or #ad (advertisement) to the message.
On Check it with SRC! you can check if your advertising complies with the Dutch Advertising Code.
Advertising Code Committee
If a consumer believes that they have been misled by your advertising, they can submit a complaint to the Advertising Code Committee (Reclame Code Commissie). If their claim is granted, you can no longer use that particular advertisement. In some cases you may also have to publish a rectification.
Distribution of unsolicited commercial messages
You are not permitted to send any electronic messages for commercial, non commercial or charitable purposes to private individuals or companies by email, telephone (sms or mms) or through social media like Twitter and Facebook without the recipient’s express consent (spam). They must also be able to see who is sending the message. In addition, they must always have the opportunity to 'opt out' of receiving email advertising.
If you still receive spam email, you may want to report this to the Dutch Consumer and Market Authority and file a complaint via Spamklacht.nl (Dutch form).