Misleading advertising is consistently the most complained about issue for European consumers. As a result, tackling misleading advertising is one of EASA’s top priorities.

To prevent misleading advertising, robust marketing codes with detailed provisions on issues like “honesty” and “truthfulness” have been developed. These codes are designed to prevent misleading claims, whether they are direct or implicit, or through omission, ambiguity or exaggeration.

The codes complement national legislation and are enforced by national self-regulatory organisations. When practices are fraudulent or illegal, many self-regulatory organisations can rely on the legal backstop.

At EU level, the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) and the Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive (MCAD) both address misleading advertising in the context of the Single Market. The Commission has also developed specific regulation for certain sectors, and regularly conducts enforcement sweeps to identify breaches of consumer law.