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C-405/98 Konsumentombudsmannen v Gourmet International Products

[2001] ECR I-1795

Case summary last updated at 12/02/2020 16:55 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case C-405/98 Konsumentombudsmannen v Gourmet International Products

Swedish law prevented alcohol advertising in magazines except in periodicals aimed at traders, e.g. bar owners. GIP published a magazine whose subscribers were 90% traders and 10% private individuals and wanted to advertise alcohol, whereas K sought an injunction restraining the adverts. GIP argued that the ban was contrary to article 28, since it had a greater effect on imported alcoholic drinks. ECJ held that the marketing laws would be lawful if they did not prevent access for products from other Member States or did not impede access any more than for domestic products. In this case, the absence of advertising prevented foreign products from achieving recognition/brand awareness when compared to domestic products, and thus constituted obstacle to the free movement of goods within the meaning of Article 28. Such restrictions were nevertheless allowed if they were proportionate to the objective pursued and did not constitute either a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade between Member States.
ECJ: Thus the policy is lawful unless there is an alternative measure which would have less of an effect on inter-state trade. This has to be assessed by the national courts. 

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