Special Legislation for Particular Goods in Spain

In Spain, there are particular products that have a specific legislation to regulate its advertisements. These products are usually in highly demand and therefore it is even more necessary for there to be regulations that control the advertisement of these goods or services.

One of these goods is alcohol. Article 5 of Law 12/2012 of 26 December 2012, states that it is lawful to advertise alcoholic beverages with a gradation of lower than 20 degrees in locations where it is prohibited to buy or drink them. Royal Decree 110/1978 of 12 May 1978, also contains guidelines concerning the advertisement of alcoholic beverages. Tobacco is also part of the special legislation products. A relatively recent law, Law 28/2005 of 26 December 2005, regulates the advertising of tobacco. Article 9 begins by stating that all kinds of tobacco advertisement in media and other formats are forbidden and later expands on the exceptions to this rule. However, there are situations in which tobacco advertisements are banned completely, such as in areas outside the network of retail establishments. The publicizing of tobacco, where the presenters, associates or guests appear to be smoking or mention the brand name, is also banned in all media.

Another product in Spain with special legislation for advertisements is cosmetics. Article 16 of Royal Decree 1599/1997 of 17 October 1997, contains numerous requirements for the publicity of cosmetic products. In summary: a clear reference as to whether any animal testing was carried out with the ingredients or the finished product; there must not be any misperception between of the cosmetic product with any pharmaceutical products; the packaging must avoid confusion with food or other consumer products to avoid health risks and; the health risks when using the cosmetic product must be wholly honest and noticeably stated on the product.

Pharmaceuticals, without a doubt, are also a type of product that needs special legislation. There is an abundant amount of regulations, codes of practice, and forms of legislation that govern the advertising of pharmaceuticals. Royal Decree 1416/1994 implemented numerous provisions of European Union Directives regarding the publicizing of pharmaceuticals. Law 29/2006 in Spain contains some provisions regarding sanctions for breach of any rules. Supplementing these laws, the Spanish Pharmaceutical Industry Association, `Farmaindustria’, published a Code of Conduct for the pharmaceutical industry in 2002. Before placing an advertisement for a pharmaceutical product, the company that created the advertisement must send a copy to the Health Authority of the Autonomous region in which the company is situated. The company must also ensure that only the public entitled to dispense or prescribe the pharmaceuticals will have access to the relevant advertisement. However, since July 2013, advertisements of over-the-counter medicines to the public no longer require any sort of authorization.

Regarding food products, Royal Decree 1334/1999 of 31 July 1999, has regulations concerning the advertisement of food products. It sets out the prohibitions as well as the general principles regarding the advertisements of food products.

Lastly, Law 26/2006 of 17 July 2006, regulates advertisements about insurance and insurance practices. There are several requirements and prohibitions set out in this piece of legislation.

Before releasing a special good such as: alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, cosmetic or food, companies should be aware of the regulations applicable in each country.

Justine Matthys & Karl H. Lincke

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Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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