29 October 2020, Budapest – The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) has initiated an investigation against Nutriversum Kft., an undertaking distributing food supplements, as the undertaking is alleged to have made unlawful claims in its videos regarding the recommendation of a doctor or a health expert.
In its investigation initiated recently, the Competition Authority considers it likely that Nutriversum Kft. has made claims that do not comply with the food sector regulations in two of its videos regarding the coronavirus, shot with the participation of dr. György Gődény, pharmacist, and in its 16 part video series entitled “The Stupidest Nonsense On The Internet Regarding Food Supplements”, all available on the YouTube channel of the undertaking. According to European Community law, health claims that reference recommendations of doctors, health experts or – with certain exceptions – health care organisations are not permitted. Such claims in advertisements always qualify as unlawful, regardless of the veracity of their content.
The commercial practice conducted on YouTube, investigated by the GVH may be able to mislead consumers, because the recommendation of the health expert (doctor, pharmacist) conveys the message to consumers that the recommended product is more reliable and effective than others, elevating it from among other, similar products, influencing consumer choice.
The initiation of the competition supervision proceeding does not mean that the undertaking has in fact committed the suspected infringement. The procedure is aimed at clarifying the facts and thereby proving the alleged infringement. The time limit for the completion of the proceeding is three months which, where justified, may be extended on two occasions by a maximum of two months each.
The official registration number of the case is: VJ/35/2020.
GVH Press Office