Is the comparative advertising allowed?
The comparative advertising is forbidden and, above all, the one aiming to enhance the qualities of a product by mentioning the faults of another one gets heavily sanctioned. Particularly, art. 15 of the Code of Self-disciplinary advertising provides that “the indirect comparison is allowed when it is needed to illustrate, under the technical and financial aspect, features and advantages objectively relevant and verifiable of the advertised goods and services”.
Therefore, the direct comparison is absolutely forbidden, whilst the indirect comparison is possible only if it is to highlight the novelty aspects of a certain product compared to all the other line products and not one in particular. For instance, it is not possible to use a sketch where your own product is measured up to an existing one, placing emphasis of the qualities of one over the other, but it could be said that your own product has certain qualities that other products do not have (without specifying which they are or the brand), if this is true. The jury censored a publicity of a dummy for baby bottle-feeding as it was said that the product was, for some reasons, different from “all the others”, but this was found to be untrue as there was at least another product like it.
The best practical advice to be given is to avoid any possible comparisons, and when you really want to do them, be sure to really have a product of unique qualities, and then compare it to all others, without ever referring to a particular brand or doing anything that could make one recognise in that item a competitor’s product.