Brazil · Decision · Judicial

Dr. Oetker Brasil Ltda v. Consumer Protection Agency of the State of Sao Paulo

Issue:

A lawsuit questioning the legality of a fine issued against Dr. Oetker Brasil Ltda as a punishment for promoting a marketing campaign that targeted children.

Summary:

In 2008, Instituto Alana presented a complaint to the Consumer Protection Agency of the State of Sao Paulo (PROCON-SP). In brief, the petitioner argued that Dr. Oetker was promoting a marketing campaign that targeted children called “Zoobremesas”. As part of this marketing campaign, the company would provide an animal-shaped backpack to those who collected 5 packages of a Dr. Oetker’s product. The campaign also included a commercial that used children as characters and alluded to fantasy themes linked with childhood.

After that, in 2010, PROCON-SP found that Dr. Oetker Brasil Ltda’s marketing campaign violated consumer protection law, as it was targeting children. In view of this, PROCON-SP issued a fine to Dr. Oetker in the amount of R$105.493,33 (one hundred five thousand and four hundred ninety three reais). However, the company filed a lawsuit at the Sao Paulo State Court [Tribunal de Justiça de São Paulo] (nº 0044517-82.2010.8.26.0053) to contest this fine, and to request the annulment of the punishment.

Then, a first instance judge ruled that Dr. Oetker’s request was unfounded. At last, Dr. Oetker appealed from this decision, which was rejected by the 10th Public Law Appeals Court of the State of Sao Paulo [10ª Câmara de Direito Público do Tribunal de Justiça de São Paulo].