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Frank Bold vs. Grupa OLX sp. z o.o.

Case overview

Date filed 9 April 2018
Current status Accord
Issue Allowing advertising of products likely used contrary to law
Summary of the case On 9 April 2018, Frank Bold Foundation (FBF) filed a complaint at the Polish NCP concerning Grupa OLX, a multinational online advertisement company. FBF alleges that Grupa OLX's digital platform allows third parties to buy and sell furnaces that may be used to illegally burn processed oil and discarded wooden railway clippers. Both processed oil and wooden railway clippers constitute hazardous waste, and burning them is prohibited as it causes serious environmental harm. The complaint alleges that while Grupa OLX does not cause the environmental harm, it is directly linked to the impact through a business relationship with the portal’s users that buy and use the furnaces. According to the OECD Guidelines, Grupa OLX should have conducted due diligence to identify and seek to prevent this impact. FBF alleges that Grupa OLX failed to do so. The case is a landmark case because it is one of the first addressing the responsibility of a (passive) web platform for content posted on it by another company.
Developments/Outcome On 25 June 2018 the NCP completed an initial assessment accepting the case for further consideration. The NCP then organised a meeting with both parties during which both the representatives of FBF and OLX expressed the will to reach an agreement. Due to both parties’ openness it was decided to continue negotiations without direct participation of NCP, while keeping the NCP informed. 

In the beginning of 2019 the parties reached a preliminary agreement and on 25 April they signed a letter of intent. On 13 May 2019 the NCP issued its final assessment on the case and presented it to the parties for their acceptance. On 13 June 2019 the parties accepted the final statement. In the letter of intent the parties emphasized the significance of air pollution in Poland and the necessity to take up actions to increase environmental awareness and promote attitudes compliant with the principles of the environmental protection and of sustainable development. OLX agreed to cooperate with FBF in improving their environmental policies, improve screening of advertisements published on their website and prioritise notifications of illegal advertisements submitted by FBF. FBF, in cooperation with Polish Smog Alerts, now monitors the OLX portal for adverts breaching the conditions set in the agreement and notifies OLX about the situation.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords Santé et sécurité, Environnement, Divulgation de renseignements

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Poland
NCP address Warsaw, Poland
NCP website https://www.miir.gov.pl/en/site/polish-national-contact-point-responsible-business-conduct/
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

Company Information

Company responsible Grupa OLX sp. Z o.o.
Company address
Company website
Company in violation Grupa OLX sp. Z o.o.
Country of operations Poland
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
13 June 2019 National Contact Point Poland statement Polish NCP issues final statement download pdf (484Kb)  
25 June 2018 National Contact Point Poland initial assessment The Polish NCP accepts the case for further examination download pdf (471Kb)  
9 April 2018 Frank Bold Society file Complaint filed with Polish NCP  

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