UAE Imposes Up to Dh500,000 Fine for False Advertisements Misleading Residents

UAE Imposes Up to Dh500,000 Fine for False Advertisements Misleading Residents

A stern warning has been issued against misleading consumers through false advertisements and promotions in the UAE.

Offenders violating the law could face imprisonment and fines of up to Dh500,000 under Article 48 of Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 on Combatting Rumours and Cybercrimes.

The UAE Public Prosecution highlighted the consequences faced by individuals who mislead consumers through a video shared on its social media channels.

The law states that individuals who use information networks, Information Technology solutions, or online platforms to disseminate misleading information regarding commodities or services may be subject to imprisonment and fines ranging from Dh20,000 to Dh500,000, or both.

According to the authority, the punitive measure is also applicable to anybody promoting goods or services through misleading advertisements or using false data. Additionally, it addresses activities such as advertising, promoting, brokering, or dealing in virtual or digital currencies without proper authorisation from the relevant authorities.

This serves as a deterrent against individuals who use technology to disseminate deceptive information about goods or services.

Advertising rules in UAE

The Emirates has also put in place advertising guidelines on October 2018, aiming to protect the public from marketing frauds and fake news, promote economic development and uphold public morals.

The guide covers content in all media platforms in the UAE and applies to the entire advertising sector, ranging from print, audio and visual media organisations to online firms and licensed social media influencers

What the guide says:

  • Individuals and firms should not harm the economic system of the state
  • Should not spread rumours or biased and misleading news
  • Should not publish images or words that violate public morality
  • Should respect intellectual property rights
  • Should maintain ethical codes of conduct; and should uphold standards of honesty

The guide also highlighted that advertisements must not be vague or ambiguous; should not contain false or misleading claims; should not use falsified images; should not exaggerate the product or service being advertised; should not lead to confusion with other names, products or activities; should not endorse criminal activity; and should not violate the existing standards for media content and classification.

On social media, blogs

Advertisements on social media, websites and blogs must be clearly identified. They should also appear independent from the editorial and informative content. Any payments for online ads, whether in cash or kind, must be disclosed.

Several social media activities, however, are exempted from licences, according to the guide. This includes charitable activities and free-of-charge, non-commercial advertising, among others.

A fine of Dh5,000 will be imposed on violators. The amount will be doubled if the offence is repeated within one year from the date of the previous violation.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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