The creative thinking that is the cornerstone of the marketing activity has been challenged over the last decade by an increasing need to comply with regulations. The increased awareness that privacy is an important asset of people has had a major impact on the sector. Portrait rights are the subject of legal protection and hence a valuable asset. On the other hand, the possibilities of online data collection, profiling and tracking of individuals as target of personalized advertisements have become enormous, and regulations were necessary to protect individuals against abuse of their personal data.
Furthermore, regulations aiming to protect consumers have focused on different forms of misleading and aggressive marketing techniques, online as well as offline. The marketing channels have become more and more online channels, using a plethora of digital techniques, from search engines to the popular social media. Marketing has become less and less obvious, and became a more subtle influencer. Celebrities endorse products on popular social media such as Instagram; advertisements are spread between informative messages on Twitter; the ‘likes’ and peer to peer reviews of products or services, especially in the domain of travel, tourism and entertainment, are sometimes infiltrated. The distinction between advertisement and information is often unclear. On the other hand, the general morale seems to have become increasingly sensitive for marketing campaigns that may be considered inappropriate or denigrating towards certain groups of society.
We have considerable experience understanding the legal issues that touch the increasingly complex marketing activity, in the online as well as offline environment. We have been part of some of the most important case law and regulatory developments, and perform legal assessments of specific markets and their issues on behalf of European and Belgian institutions.