A Joke: A Leniency Program Cartoon

Sep 13, 2011

UOKiK’s Cartoon on its Leniency Program

The TV cartoon entitled “A joke” is a part of communication campaign launched by the Polish Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (“UOKiK”) in 2009. This project is devoted to the leniency program and targeted at entrepreneurs, both the largest and smallest operating in local markets, which could potentially participate in unlawful agreements.

The starting point of the project was the survey conducted among Polish undertakings which showed that only few knew about the leniency program and were aware of the fact that price-fixing is unlawful.

Thus, the main goal of the cartoon (and the campaign itself) is to inform the public about the harmful effects of cartels and to encourage its participants to cooperate with the Office to avoid fines or receive more lenient sanctions. First of all, it was our intention to raise the awareness among the undertakings, approaching them by informing and encouraging, not by threatening. Consequently, we focused on presenting legal regulations and the procedures of submitting leniency applications.

The cartoon was broadcast on business and information TV and radio channels. Thanks to the involvement of radio, television broadcasters, and internet portals, the Office continued the campaign in January 2011 and the advertising was then broadcast free of charge by nationwide and local stations. Along with an ad, a special info-line was established to enable undertakings to obtain, anonymously, all the information concerning the program and to learn if they met the requirements to apply for leniency. In addition, the President of the Office sent letters with guidelines on leniency to over 800 entrepreneurs-both the biggest companies and smallest operating in local and regional markets.

The Office estimated the effectiveness of the project in 2009 on the basis of a survey conducted among the businesses. It showed that, compared to a 2006 survey, the campaign resulted in 7 percent increase in the level of knowledge of leniency program among large and small entrepreneurs. A similar positive increase was observed with regard to understanding unlawful price-fixing agreements. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the cartoon was well recognized among the undertakings that also knew which particular legal regulations the cartoon applied to.

View A Joke here.

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