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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: The Law of Advertising and Commercial Speech (LAWS11375)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn substantive terms, students will be introduced to the role of law and regulation relating to advertising and commercial speech. They will be encouraged to think critically about the social, political and economic impact of advertising and the role of law in shaping this field. They will explore the human rights dimension and the public and private interests that underpin advertising law and regulation. The course will consider the interplay of self-regulation and statutory regulation and the role of EU law in shaping domestic rules. Students will also be encouraged to think about how rules are enforced and jurisdiction in an increasingly integrated international marketplace.

Advertising plays an important role in driving sales and providing consumer information, it has also been one of the main bases for funding the mass media. Advertising continues to evolve, however, and there are increasing concerns about surreptitious and 'native' advertising and the way in which information on consumers is aggregated and sold. In an increasingly online sales environment - who can we trust and what role should international organisations, states - and industry - play in protecting individuals and consumers?

Course description An indication of the structure of the course is as follows:

I The fundamentals

1. Introduction - What is advertising? An international and comparative legal perspective.
2. Advertising and the human rights framework
3. Advertising and the European legal framework

II A Closer Look at Key Regulatory Goals: Protecting Consumers and Competitors

4. Misleading advertising and consumer protection
5. Comparative Advertising and Passing off
6. Reading week

III The regulation of online marketing - some emerging issues

7. Digital Marketing and Behavioural Advertising I
8. Digital Marketing and Behavioural Advertising II
9. Digital Marketing and Political Advertising
10. Digital Marketing and Tackling Market Power

11. Remedies and Course Review

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. draw on relevant legal materials and use these effectively to develop their legal reasoning;
  2. understand the application of the law in its wider social, economic and political context;
  3. evaluate and criticise the law, using a variety of legal, policy-based, and theoretical arguments;
  4. carry out legal research in the field, in part so that the knowledge and understanding gained may be applied and adapted in future; and
  5. draw on learned transferable skills: (a) communication skills, oral and in writing; (b) intellectual skills, of collecting, organising, evaluating, synthesising and presenting material and arguments; (c) general skills, in managing time, working independently, and taking responsibility for their own work; (d) skills of co-operation and planning within a group to produce a professional oral presentation
Reading List
Key texts include:
Ulf Bernitz and Caroline Heide-Jorgensen (eds) Marketing and Advertising Law in a Process of Harmonisation (Oxford: 2017)
S. Weatherill, EU Consumer Law and Policy (Elgar: 2013),
Giles Crown, Advertising Law and Regulation (Second Ed. Bloomsbury Professional: 2010)
Jan Oster, European and International Media Law (CUP: 2017), chapter 5
Barendt, Bosland, Craufurd Smith, Hitchens, Media Law: Text, Cases and Materials, (Pearson, 2014), chapter 6

Considerable material is also available online, in particular on the Europa and Advertising Standards Authority website.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding:
- Students should attain a good understanding of the interplay between domestic and international law in the advertising field, as well as the role of industry self- regulation.
- They should be familiar with the role of the EU and Council of Europe in setting human rights standards in the field.
- They will understand the major challenges facing regulators as a result of digitisation and behavioural advertising and the steps being taken to address market power.

Skills and Abilities in Research and Enquiry:
The course aims to further develop students' abilities and skills in respect of:
- Use of legal materials and legal reasoning;
- Appreciation of law in its context;
- Evaluation and criticism of law;
- Legal research and intellectual skills of collecting, organising, evaluating and synthesising material and arguments
- Working with others to produce a collaborative video and related guides.
Development of these skills will be supported through the formative and group exercises and the final essay. Students will be encouraged to engage in oral discussion and critical evaluation of their research in the seminars and in written discussion on the forum.

Skills and Abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy:
- Students will be set reading on a weekly basis and asked to actively reflect on this reading. The final set essay will require self-directed research and enquiry. They will thus be required to develop their skills in managing time, working independently and taking responsibility for their own work.

Skills and Abilities in Communication:
- Students will be expected to develop their communication skills, oral and writing - through preparing course assignments and in engaging actively in seminar discussions and on the course forum. They will have an opportunity to present their ideas in the group video. Feedback will be given on these skills.

Skills and Abilities in Personal Effectiveness:
- Students will be encouraged to develop their skills in managing time, working independently, and taking responsibility for their own work.
-Students will be expected to work together in preparing their group video presentation and thus to collaborate in allocating tasks and engaging constructively with their peers.

Technical/practical Skills:
- Students will gain a good factual knowledge of key principles and regulatory techniques in a rapidly developing commercial sector.
- They will learn how to apply this knowledge to concrete problems, taking into account the technical and political context, through problem-based discussions in the seminars. - They will be encouraged to communicate their findings clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing, and will gain experience of writing and presenting different kinds of content for a range of audiences.
These skills will be useful for subsequent employment, whether that be in professional practice, working for civil society or regulatory bodies or in industry.
KeywordsAdvertising,Commercial Speech,Data Protection,Online Games,Freedom of Expression;
Course organiserDr Rachael Craufurd-Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 2061
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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