A logo on ComEuro.net, viewed on 21 September 2011, consisted of the initials “CE” inside a circle of 12 yellow stars next to the company name, which was overlaid over a map of Europe.
The complainant challenged whether the logo was misleading, because they believed it implied that the company fell under the jurisdiction of the EU when that was not the case.
ComEuro.net said they felt that the use of their logo and the map was integral to the function and navigation of the website home page and language options. They confirmed that they supplied countries throughout the EU, not just the UK.
The ASA understood the complainant believed the logo implied that ComEuro.net fell under the jurisdiction of the EU, and the EU distance selling regulations, because it comprised elements similar to symbols used by the EU, namely, that the "CE" initials resembled the CE mark, which appeared on products marketed in the European Economic Area to confirm that the product conformed with the requirements of EC directives, and that the circle of twelve yellow stars was the emblem of the EU. We understood that ComEuro.net was registered in Guernsey, which was not a member of the EU, and the company therefore was not subject to the EU distance selling regulations.
We acknowledged that the initials "CE" were the initials of ComEuro.net, and that the font used in the logo differed from the font used for the CE mark. We also acknowledged the advertiser supplied consumers throughout the EU. However, we considered the strong resemblances between the stars in the logo and the EU emblem and the use of the initials "CE" were likely to mislead consumers into understanding that ComEuro.net fell under EU jurisdiction and was subject to EU consumer laws. Because we understood that was not the case, we concluded the logo was misleading.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules
Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.
Marketing communications must not mislead the consumer by omitting material information. They must not mislead by hiding material information or presenting it in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
Material information is information that the consumer needs to make informed decisions in relation to a product. Whether the omission or presentation of material information is likely to mislead the consumer depends on the context, the medium and, if the medium of the marketing communication is constrained by time or space, the measures that the marketer takes to make that information available to the consumer by other means. (Misleading advertising).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told ComEuro.net not to use imagery which gave the impression that they were subject to EU consumer laws.