El Català a l'empresa

Advertising

In the public thoroughfare and in the printed media, radio, television, websites, Internet, unaddressed mailings, etc

What does the law say?

Advertising must be in Catalan if it involves an invitation to purchase, through documents, catalogues, leaflets, advertisements, etc. on which the price of the product is stated (article 128.1 of Law 22/2010 on the Catalan Consumer Code and article 32.2 of Law 1/1998 on linguistic policy).

If thus established by a local by-law, Catalan should be included in all advertising in the public thoroughfare. This regulation stems from the application of article 35.2 of the Law on linguistic policy. Companies should therefore be well acquainted with local by-laws for the purpose of compliance.

Public companies or companies holding a concession from the Government of Catalonia must do all their advertising in Catalan (article 35.1 of Law 1/1998 on linguistic policy and article 50 of the Statute of Catalonia of 2006).

There are also various obligations in other Catalan-speaking territories.

Andorra:

  • All advertising, oral and written, must be in Catalan when it is to be disseminated or distributed in Andorra. Article 15 of the Law regulating the use of the official language from the year 2000 establishes that:

    3. Posters, proclamations, advertising, leaflets, catalogues, advertising messages and announcements, both oral and written, disseminated or distributed in Andorra, must be in Catalan. Expressions in other languages may be used in a secondary position, provided that such expressions occupy less space than the main subject, written in Catalan.

    (...)

    6. All commercial advertising and posters published and distributed in Andorra for cinemas, theatres, shows and any other public cultural events must be written in the official language, without prejudice to titles or names of such manifestations in other languages.

What would a good practice be in this regard?

In addition to the legal provisions:

  • Catalan at least must always be used. Indeed, considering that the content of advertising texts is usually rather simple, Catalan alone may be used, as this would not pose any problems of understanding for the recipient.
  • In the case of brochures, catalogues and leaflets sent directly to mailboxes or in establishments, if they are only to be distributed in the Catalan linguistic area, it is recommendable that they be published only in Catalan; however, if they are distributed throughout Spain, separate or multilingual versions may be produced, although under no circumstances may the Catalan version be omitted.
  • In the case of advertising in the media and on websites intended for citizens in the Catalan-speaking territories, the partial or total use of Catalan in the respective communication medium or website will be a good indicator of whether it is appropriate to use Catalan. Nevertheless, even if the respective communication medium uses another language, if its readers live in the Catalan linguistic area, the use of Catalan may help to produce a clearly positive perception and an create an impression of closeness to the consumer.