Interview with Márk Erdélyi

Quick interview with Márk Erdélyi, legal director and compliance officer of Telenor Hungary Kft.

TT: Márk, your interest in consumer protection issues pre-dates your position as legal director of Telenor Hungary. Could you talk about that?

Yes, I set up a consumer protection NGO with experts because despite the law prohibited misleading of consumers it happened a lot. I remember I was walking in the underground and saw the ads of beauty industry: by using their product your skin gets 92% younger, etc. Based on the cases we filed to the Competition Authority more than 1 billion HUF fines were imposed and among others the ads of beauty industry were changed. We started many public litigations as well, e.g. the first cases against the unfair practices of banks back in 2008. However, courts were quite immature to public litigations at that time, effects were limited.

TT: Does the GVH target the markets where competition can be distorted by misleading advertisements? What other sectors would you suggest the agencies to look at?

In general, large companies become mature in that sense that they are respecting the law and Competition Authority. However, I still see many ads which are misleading the consumers.  Sometimes they are coming from mid-sized companies, which might easily disappear or transfer their business to a new company if they are sanctioned. I know that the fight against their practices is not easy. However, this is a challenge for the authorities to manage.

TT: What do you think is the greatest challenge in the field of UCP?

The harmonization of UCP law was done but the practices of the countries are still far away from each other. This hinders cross-border marketing and increases company risks. I believe that conferences – like this one –  might help to converge practice in this field, thus looking forward to it!

TT: Could you share one of your experiences where you had to adapt the advertisement campaign based upon the diverging expectations of various jurisdictions?

We simply do not get there. We do our campaigns locally, as many other companies. We need to work further to build down those boundaries – including legal practice – which hinder cross-border advertising.