Soltysinski Kawecki Szlezak successfully represented pro bono Stowarzyszenie Twoja Sprawa ("Your Case Association") in a case brought against the producer of Devil Energy Drink.
The offending advertisement, which appeared on the producer's Facebook profile showed a woman kneeling in front of a man and the slogan "she already knows what she will have in her mouth." Stowarzyszenie Twoja Sprawa brought the case against the energy drink producer, demanding an apology and compensation for a vulgar advertisement, which it claimed violated good manners and objectified women.
The claims of Stowarzyszenie Twoja Sprawa against the advertiser were based on Article 16, Section 1.1 of Poland's Act on Combatting Unfair Competition, which states that the acts of unfair competition include, inter alia, advertising contrary to good practices and offending human dignity.
The Regional Court in Legnica concluded that the advertisement of Devil Energy Drink had indeed violated good customs, and ordered the advertiser to publish an apology and pay PLN 60,000 to a foundation operating under the name Dla Polonii, dedicated to students from Eastern Europe.
According to SK&S, it is the first court decision of its kind in Poland, which may change advertisers’ approach to the content they create. The decision is final, and legally binding. Izabela Karska from the Your Case Association thinks that the verdict is precedent-setting. "The law on which we rely is mainly used by entrepreneurs. The problem is that the entrepreneurs themselves do not want to get involved in a court dispute with another entrepreneur just to fight advertisements that degrade human dignity, objectifying the image of women, or otherwise violate good manners. Stowarzyszenie Twoja Sprawa, however, has such goals and is vitally interested in removing such advertisements from the market. This is our first lawsuit, but certainly not the last one. We want entrepreneurs planning their activities to be aware that they are at risk of litigation by exceeding certain limits."
The SK&S team consisted of Senior Counsel Katarzyna Paczuska-Tokarska and Senior Associate Mateusz Irminski.