Hangover – that was on the one hand a film trilogy about a bachelor farewell that got completely out of hand. It is the name for a hangover after a night of drinking. But Hangover is also a disease, at least according to the legal diagnosis of the OLG Frankfurt am Main. And to advertise a drink with it can be legally tricky.
Higher regional court Frankfurt/Main, sentence of 12.9.2019 – 6 U 114/18
(Previously Landgericht, sentence of 8.6.2018, Ref. 3/10 O 67/17)
Food manufacturer warned
A food manufacturer advertised its dietary supplements with statements such as „Anti Hangover Drink“ or „Anti Hangover Shot“. It should work, „naturally for hangovers“. The drink was available as a powdery stick („drink“) or in a drinkable mixture („shot“).
A little too far taken, the assertion. At least that’s what the plaintiff meant and warned the food manufacturer. This was also followed by the judges at the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main with reference to the Food Information Ordinance (LMIV).
In any case, the Higher Regional Court stated: „Information about a food must not attribute to it any properties of prevention, treatment or cure of a human disease or give the impression of such a property„. According to Article 7 Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, information about foodstuffs must not be misleading as to the fairness of information practice.
The decision is not final. The defendant may still challenge it.
Whether as a manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, medical products or even nutritional supplements, in the product description and advertising one should carefully examine his statements. This also applies to healthcare service providers such as doctors, pharmacies or hospitals and others. Thereby the law on the advertising of therapeutic products is not only limited to the law on the advertising of medicinal products and the law on unfair competition or professional law, but also to numerous other regulations. Since these standards have also found their special expression in European legislation, the advice of a specialist in pharmaceutical advertising law is helpful in cases of doubt.