Brazil · Decision · Judicial

Office of the Prosecutor of the State of Santa Catarina v. Empresa de Laticínios Tirol LTDA

Issue:

A public civil lawsuit [ação civil pública] due to a marketing campaign titled "Tirolzinho Transfoma", which promoted recycling competitions between schools and distributed products to schoolchildren.

Summary:

In 2017, Instituto Alana presented a complaint to Office of the Prosecutor of the State of Santa Catarina [Ministério Público do Estado de Santa Catarina]. The case was about the marketing campaing “Tirolzinho Transforma”. Briefly, the company “Tirol” promoted a competition among students, in partnership with their schools, to create toys using recyclable materials. Moreover, they should be preferably made with Tirol products, as specified in the content regulation.

Then, in 2018, the Office of the Prosecutor of the State of Santa Catarina filed a public civil lawsuit [ação civil pública] against Empresa de Laticínios Tirol LTDA due that marketing campaign. After that, a first instance judge decided that Tirol should refrain from conducting its campaign in school environments. As a result, the defendant Tirol appealed the decision, leading to another company failure. Besides, the company had to remove any of its symbols and logos from school environments. As a result, the defendant Tirol appealed the decision, leading to another company failure.

The Santa Catarina Appeals Court decided to The court decided to uphold the first instance decision. The campaign was considered ‘abusive’ and prohibited according the Consumer Defense Code [Código de Defesa do Consumidor] (article 37) and the Resolution No. 163/2014 of Conanda. In this regard, the Rapporteur concluded that by targeting educational institutions, Tirol engaged in an action that, despite claiming to be educational, exposed students to marketing, exploiting their vulnerability.