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Paraguay: New Law Prohibiting Unauthorized Advertising on Cellular Phones

(Aug. 1, 2017) On June 30, 2017, the President of Paraguay promulgated Law 5830 on prohibiting unauthorized advertising via cellular phones.  The Law gives users the power to decide whether they want to receive such advertising.  (Rige la Ley que Prohibe Publicidad No Autorizada en Telefonos Celulares, LA NACION (July 12, 2017).)

Law 5830 creates a National Registry within the Secretariat of Consumer and User Protection (Secretaria de Defensa del Consumidor y el Usuario) to protect the public against abuses that occur when merchants try to contact potential buyers by means of the latter’s mobile phones to advertise or promote the sale or purchase of goods and services that were not requested by those phone users. (Lo que Tenes que Saber sobre la Ley que Prohibe Mensajes Publicitarios al Celular, ULTIMAHORA (July 13, 2017); Ley No. 5830 que Prohibe Publicidad No Autorizada en Telefonos Celulares [Law No. 5830 Prohibiting Unauthorized Advertising on Cellular Phones] (Law 5830) (June 30, 2017), art. 3, GACETA OFICIAL (July 3, 2017), at 24, appended to Lo que Tenes que Saber sobre la Ley que Prohibe Mensajes Publicitarios al Celular.)

Both individuals and companies will be able to register their mobile phone numbers free of charge in the National Registry created by the Law in order to prevent unwanted contact for advertising or promotional purposes. (Law No. 5830, art. 4.) Mobile service providers will give the National Registry administrators access to the providers’ user information to corroborate the identity of the registered consumers. (Id.)

Merchants are required to verify that a phone number is not registered in the National Registry before they may contact consumers for commercial advertising. (Id. art. 5.) If, in spite of registration, unwanted advertising continues, the Law provides for economic sanctions against those merchants violating the law. (Id. art. 9.)