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Federal Supreme Court, Decision 2C_322/2021 of 20 August 2021

1. October 2021 – In this decision, the Federal Supreme Court had to assess whether the advertising "Saas das Bier" was objectively capable of arousing false ideas in the average consumer with regard to the place of production and the origin of the beer. The appellant argued that there had never been any intention to deceive with the presentation of the product "Saas das Bier", as the place of production had been declared on the collar label. Consequently, the appellant held that there was no deception.

The Federal Supreme Court considered that the purpose of the Food Act is, among other things, to protect consumers from deception in connection with foodstuffs and utility articles (cf. art 18 et seq. of the Federal Act on Foodstuffs and Utility Articles, FSA). In the present case, the presentation of the beer made reference to the Saas Valley in the canton of Valais at various points. This gave the average consumer the impression that the product "Saas das Bier" came from this region. According to the court, the small print on the label of the bottle indicating the different place of production did not change this impression. In this respect, the presentation of the product was objectively likely to mislead, as the Saas Valley in the Canton of Valais did not correspond to the place of production. Consequently, the appeal was dismissed by the Federal Supreme Court.

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