23. Dec 19

OLG Rostock: Unlawful advertising of fruit nectar as fruit juice

Fruit nectar is not the same as fruit juice and therefore must not be promoted as such. The OLG Rostock has ruled that this kind of advertising is misleading and in breach of competition law.

We at MTR Rechtsanwälte note that information about the essential characteristics of a product is key to consumers deciding whether or not to make a purchase, which is why they must not be misled about essential characteristics.

In a ruling from September 25, 2019, the OLG Rostock held that a fruit nectar must not be promoted as fruit juice (Az.: 2 U 22/18). According to the Court, statements to this effect are objectively untrue, relate to the fruit juice content, and hence constitute an essential characteristic of the promoted product.

The OLG went on to note that a fruit nectar may have a higher water content than fruit juice and also contain sugar and honey. The Court stated that a substantial proportion of consumers are aware of the difference between juice and nectar, and that it is unfair and unlawful to promote a nectar as fruit juice, as this kind of advertising is misleading and likely to induce consumers to make a purchase that they would not otherwise have made.

Violations of competition law may be met with severe penalties. Lawyers with experience in the field of antitrust and competition law can offer advice.

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