In the fast-paced world of marketing and advertising, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to reach their target audience. One of these methods is outdoor advertising due to the fact that it is an important marketing and advertising tool.
In order to better understand this phenomenon, it is necessary to reveal the concepts of “advertising” and “outdoor advertising”.
According to Article 2 of the RA Law “On Advertising”, advertising is the dissemination of information about legal entities or individuals, goods, ideas or initiatives through various information means among an indefinite number of persons who are designed to form or maintain interest in this individual and legal entity, goods or initiatives. According to the legal position of the Cassation Court of the Republic of Armenia on the precedent decision CC/0429/05/13 from November 28th, 2014, the above definition of the concept of “advertising implies that advertising is information that should be distributed through various types of information media, addressed to an indefinite number of persons, relate to specific legal entities or individuals, goods, ideas or initiatives, should pursue the goal of forming or maintaining interest in this individual and legal entity, products or initiatives. Advertising, being information, has a number of features that allow you to define this information as advertising. Advertising is information in its content, which can be expressed by oral speech, graphic, photo, audio and video, music, color, and other means, both individually and in combination of these means. Advertising information can be distributed through various information means, that is, it must be published and made available to the consumer. Therefore, information without distribution cannot be considered advertising. Advertising should be intended for distribution to an indefinite number of persons, which means that, although it is possible to predict the target group for advertising, but it is initially impossible to determine the specific recipients of the information being distributed. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the side of the legal relationship that arises as a result of the implementation of the advertised object.
Advertising should relate to specific legal entities or individuals, products, ideas or initiatives that are the object of advertising. In this regard, it should be noted that the inclusion in the disseminated information of a generalizing name of a certain group of products or services (for example, “clothing”, “goods”, “juices”, etc.) cannot be considered advertising, since such names do not allow separating a specific product or service from a circle of homogeneous goods and services and to form a positive attitude towards them. That is, information containing a generalizing name cannot be considered advertising, since there is no advertising object in it.
The information should be aimed at attracting the consumer’s attention to the object of advertising, convincing the latter, therefore, an important feature of advertising is to stimulate interest in the object, form a positive attitude towards it and maintain such an attitude․
Based on the foregoing analysis, the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia states that in order for the information to be considered advertising, the simultaneous presence of the following signs of information is necessary:
– information should make it possible to personalize a specific legal entity or individual, product, idea or initiative, that is, the object of advertising should be present,
– information must be transmitted by at least one information medium,
– the information should be intended for distribution to undetermined persons,
– the purpose of the information should be the formation and maintenance of interest in the advertised object:
In the absence of any of these features, the information cannot be considered advertising․
Consequently, interpretation of the concept of advertising, outdoor advertising is such information that, in order to form and maintain interest in a particular legal entity or individual, product, idea or initiative, advertised object, is distributed among undetermined persons in localities in the form of posters, posters, advertisements, billboards, light boards and other technical means.
Summarizing the features of the means of distributing outdoor advertising, outdoor advertising is information containing signs of advertising, which, in the form of temporary or basic, mobile or stationary technical means, is distributed in settlements, being placed in an open area, on the outer surface of buildings, structures, on elements of outdoor equipment, as well as on vehicles. Considering that, in parallel with technological progress, various new technical means can be used as a means of advertising distribution, the legislator rightly did not limit himself to listing the currently used technical means, considering it possible to distribute advertising by other technical means.
At the same time, the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia states that the size of the materially expressed result of posters, brochures, advertisements, billboards, light boards and other technical means, as well as the information placed on them, do not have any significance in order to consider or not to consider the information as outdoor advertising, since if the information posted in a populated area if the item in the form of posters, brochures, advertisements, billboards, light boards and other technical means has the above characteristics inherent in advertising, then the latter should be considered.
It is important to note that means of personalization, such as a trademark and service mark, may be advertising to the extent that they contain information about a legal entity, product or service as a means of personalization which are a brand name, trademark, service mark can be considered advertising if they are used to attract or maintain interest in the object of advertising in the circle of an indefinite number of persons․ However, according to the position of the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia, the placement of brand name, trademarks or service marks at the locations of an organization, carrying out its activities, may not be considered external advertising if its purpose is not to form an interest, a positive attitude among undetermined persons, but to inform about the location of the organization, the place of activity and/or the type of activity that corresponds to the customs of business turnover․
Analyzing all of the above, it is necessary to state the following: in order to consider the placement in settlements of means of personalization of a legal entity in the form of posters, brochures, ads, banners, light boards and other technical means as the distribution of outdoor advertising, first of all, the intended purpose of the placement of such information should be the subject of evaluation.
Before qualifying the placement of the means of personalization of a legal entity in the form of technical means as outdoor advertising, it is necessary to find out whether they pursued the goal of forming and maintaining interest in the object or simply, for example, contained information about the place of activity of the organization.