We represent 15min – one of the largest news websites in Lithuania – on an appeal against a warning issued by the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority commission. The warning was issued for using the name of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis in advertising the book “Kabinetas 339” without consent and alleged violation of the Law on Advertising.

Democracy exam for the court

15min claims that the decision contradicts Lithuanian and European legal practice and freedom of expression. Additionally, the warning was imposed for reasons that were not mentioned in Prime Minister Skvernelis’ complaint.

Comments Kęstutis Švirinas, the Sorainen partner representing the client: “The European Court of Human Rights has made it clear in its rulings that advertising which uses someone’s name without their consent is appropriate if the person is well known and if such usage does not offend that individual’s honour and dignity. There is no doubt that Saulius Skvernelis is well-known in Lithuania. Since the authority itself acknowledged that the advertising of the book did not violate Mr Skvernelis‘ honour and dignity, the question remains – will the court pass the democracy test and not restrict the public’s right to take an interest and to publicly discuss top Lithuanian officials and their environment, even though those officials do not want such discussions to take place.”

Our team representing the client

The client is represented by partner Kęstutis Švirinas, senior associate Irma Kirklytė and legal assistant Auridas Litvinas.