Italy: Advertising & Marketing

This country-specific Q&A provides an overview of Advertising & Marketing laws and regulations applicable in Italy.

  1. How is harmful and offensive advertising regulated? [For example, advertising content that may be obscene, blasphemous, offensive to public morals or decency, or offensive to protected minorities or characteristics?]

  2. How is unfair and misleading advertising regulated? [Briefly describe the law and regulation applying to unfair and misleading advertising in your jurisdiction. Cover any specific unfair or misleading practices that are prohibited, as well as the general category of misleading advertising]

  3. Do any specific rules restrict advertising for the following product sectors? If so, how? a. Alcohol b. Tobacco and related products, such as vapes and nicotine pouches c. Medicines, medical devices and surgical or medical procedures d. High fat, salt and sugar foods e. Gaming and gambling services f. Adult and sex-related services

  4. Do any specific rules apply to advertising featuring prices?

  5. Do any specific rules apply to the use of testimonials and endorsements in advertising?

  6. Do any specific rules apply to environmental or “green” advertising claims?

  7. What rules apply to the identification of advertising content – for example, distinguishing advertorial from editorial?

  8. How is influencer/brand ambassador advertising regulated?

  9. Are any advertising methods prohibited or restricted? [For example, product placement and subliminal advertising]

  10. Are there different rules for different advertising media, such as online, broadcast, non-broadcast etc?

  11. Are there specific rules for direct marketing such as email, SMS and direct mail?

  12. Is advertising to children and young people restricted beyond general law and regulation? If so, how?

  13. How is comparative advertising regulated?

  14. Are consumer promotions specifically regulated as advertising (as distinct from contract law)? If so, how?

  15. Are there specific rules on promotional prize draws and skill competitions? If incorrectly executed, can these be classed as illegal lotteries? If so, what are the possible consequences?

  16. Must promotional prize competitions be registered with a state agency or authority? [If so, briefly explain the process, typical time from application to approval, and any costs]

  17. What is the relationship between IP law and advertising law? [For example, can IP law provide an alternative enforcement mechanism in addition or alternatively to advertising-specific law and regulation?]

  18. What is the relationship between contract law and advertising law? [For example, if an “offer” made in advertising content is accepted by a third party, can this form a binding contract?]

  19. What is the relationship between human rights law and advertising law? [For example, can advertisers rely on a right to freedom of speech to justify otherwise prohibited advertising?]

  20. How are breaches of advertising law and regulation enforced? [Briefly outline the process, including significant stages of the dispute, time to resolution and likely penalties]