Thursday, 18 July 2013

No combination of car and insurance in advertising - CJEU judgment in Case C-256/12 Citroën Belux

In another case in which the CJEU ruled today, Citroën Belux BV, the scope of EU law concerning unfair commercial practices was at stake. The case concerned an advertising campaign by Citroën in Belgium, in which under the slogan 'je veux tous' ('I want everything') consumers were offered a '6 months free comprehensive insurance' when buying a Citroën car. The Belgian Federation of Insurance and Financial Agents challenged this campaign, arguing that the advertisement constituted a combined offer that was contrary to Belgian law on financial services. The Court of Appeal in Brussels handling the case referred a preliminary question to the CJEU regarding the compliance of Belgian law with EU consumer law.

The Court holds that the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU must be interpreted 'as not precluding a national provision, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which lays down a general prohibition – save in the cases exhaustively listed by the national legislation – of combined offers made to consumers where at least one of the components of those offers is a financial service'.

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