Essential information with regard to the context in question must be provided in marketing or customer relationships. Information that may not be omitted includes
- information that the consumer needs in order to make a purchasing decision or other decision related to a consumer product or service, and
- the lack of which is conducive to the consumer making a decision which he or she would not have made, had sufficient information been available.
Information that is necessary with regard to the consumer's health and safety must always be provided.
A purchasing decision involves factors other than the issue of whether or not the consumer purchases the product or service. The price and other terms on which the product or service is acquired are included within the scope of the purchasing decision. Other decisions related to the consumer product or service may include whether the consumer exercises the rights to which he or she is entitled during the contract relationship, by law or under the agreement.
Account is taken of the clarity, intelligibility and correct timing of the information when assessing the sufficiency of information. The business can be considered in breach of the obligation to provide information if the information provided is unclear or given too late to influence the consumer's decision.
When assessing the sufficiency of information, account is also taken of any restrictions related to the means of communication, such as restrictions related to the duration of a television commercial and other measures undertaken by the business in order to provide essential information for consumers. If the means of communication involve several restrictions in terms of time and space, it may suffice that the business provides complete information in another manner. However, the impression created among consumers by a television or radio commercial alone may not be misleading.
The question of which information is essential cannot be examined in detail and in advance in each case. The content and extent of the obligation to provide information varies depending on the context: for instance, in general image advertising concerning a business, the obligation to provide information is usually narrower than in the more specific marketing of an individual product or service.