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益思

2010/01/04 19:16
部落格推銷文章與消費者保護
◎陳增懿律師 

未註明推銷產品...藉部落客打廣告 要罰

【經濟日報╱記者陳亮諭/台北報導】2009.11.18

網路行銷風潮興盛,不少商品透過網路部落格寫手推銷,國民黨立委陳根德等26人提案修改消費者保護法,寫手撰文商品使用心得若有商業行為應在文中做資訊揭露,否則將罰業者新台幣2萬至20萬元。立法院社福衛環委員會今(18)日將審查該案。

陳根德提案修改消保法第22、23及56條,規範企業假以部落客名義打廣告,內容可能涉及不實卻不必負責,消費者無法索賠及獲得保障等,有必要立法監督,保障消費者權益,避免另類行銷廣告不實。

修法內容主要為企業經營者對消費者所負的義務,不得低於廣告的內容;再者,網路平台撰寫使用服務或商品經驗者,應明確揭示受企業經營委託,否則企業將受處罰2萬至20萬元。

    在欲購賣產品之前,先至網路上搜尋產品價格或使用心得,已成為現今許多人的消費習慣,但如果看似單純的心得分享之文章,其實背後涉及廠商委託宣傳之的商業行為時,恐怕多數網友在閱讀部落格文章或twitter(推特)時,心中也會對於這類該的文章之可信任度打上問號吧!不過,現今網路行銷風潮盛行,透過部落格行銷文章也非常流行,到底哪些是與單純的心得分享,哪些是商業行銷,若只由作者寫作風格,恐怕其界限難以區分。事實上,透過部落格、twitter等網路社群方式進行商業行銷,本即是Web 2.0時代重要的網路活動,就如同一般電視商業廣告一樣,也有許多網友依賴這些商業行銷決定是否購買產品或服務,因此,重點就會落在網友在接觸或閱讀時,是否知悉這些內容,是在接受商業行銷委託之下所為。就此,美國FTC(聯邦貿易委員會)於2009年10月公布指導原則,並就相關情形有實例輔以說明。本文擬就該相關實例加以介紹,以釐清網路行銷文章之認定要件與企業及該寫作者所應為之處理方式。

 

    就我國消費者保護法現行規定而言,第22條規定「企業經營者應確保廣告內容之真實,其對消費者所負之義務不得低於廣告之內容」,第23條規定「刊登或報導廣告之媒體經營者明知  或可得而知廣告內容與事實不符者,就消費者因信賴該廣告所受之損害與企業經營者負連帶責任。前項損害賠償責任,不得預先約定限制或拋棄」。前開規定之意旨,係為確保消費者所獲得資訊之真實性,就企業經營者關於消費資訊提供及於媒體經營者明知或可得而知廣告內容與事實不符時,對企業經營者及媒體經營者法定所課予之責任。惟就企業經營者透過部落格文章等之網路行銷行為,作者隱而不談其係受廠商委託進行此等行銷活動,並無法依上開法條加以規範處理,故有立法委員希望透過修法處理之提案。

 

    事實上,這個修法的提案,應該是受到美國FTC於2009年10月公布「關於廣告中使用背書及推薦之指導原則」(Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising)的影響,以下即針對此一指導原則簡單介紹如下:

 

一、認定要件
    於FTC所公布之指導原則§255.0所舉之實例8中,就一般心得分享之文章及涉及企業委託所撰寫之文章區別之舉例為:一位消費者本來通常使用特定品牌的狗食,而後自行購買了另一更貴的品牌,發現使用更換後之品牌之結果,使他的狗的狗毛顯著地變柔順並光亮,並且認為該新的品牌的確值得該價錢,其於網路上分享該心得內容,該刊登內容並不會被認定為行銷文章;但是若該消費者獲得該新品牌之狗食,是藉由店家根據消費者慣例性之購買所發行免費之試用包,或是該消費者有加入一個網路行銷計畫而因該計畫免費獲得該產品,則消費者就該新品牌之狗食所刊登之正面文章即會被視為是為企業所委託之網路行銷文章。由上述實例可知,單純的心得分享僅限於消費者未受到任何贈與或其他對價所分享之心得文章,其他無論是否實際受有報酬,即使只是收到試用贈品或廠商委託測試之無償寫作,都會落入接受企業經營者委託之網路行銷文章之範疇。

 

二、處理方式
    於FTC所公布之指導原則§255.5,對於企業經營者及部落格作家所應採取的措施,乃是規範其必須揭露企業經營者與寫作者之實質關聯性。實例7中即指出:一個享有電動遊戲專家之名聲的大學生,於其部落格中時常分享其玩遊戲的經驗,而其部落格的讀者也常詢問其關於遊戲軟體及硬體的意見。某日有一新發售電動遊戲系統的廠商寄給該學生一份免費的產品並要求其試玩後於其部落格上分享心得。該學生測試後也確實於其部落格發表一篇有利於廠商的心得,但因其所分享的心得中並未明顯揭露出其係免費獲得該產品,且其他讀者也難以知悉此層關係存在,但該寫作者係免費由廠商處獲得該遊戲試玩之事實,將會實質上地影響其所刊登具有正面心得文章的可信度。所以,該部落格之寫作者,應清楚地揭露其係免費取得該遊戲產品,且該製造商亦應於提供遊戲產品時,即應建議該寫作者須揭露此關聯性,並且應有監督寫作者之刊登符合此項要求之程序存在。
 

    此次消費者保護法修正草案第22條第2項:「企業經營者,委託他人於網路平台撰寫文字分享使用商品或服務經驗者,其對消費者所負之義務,亦不得低於撰寫所表述之內容」、第22條第3項:「受企業經營者委託,於網路平台撰寫文字分享使用商品或服務之經驗者,應明確揭示受企業經營者之委託」;及消費者保護法第23條第2項:「受企業經營者委託而於網路上撰寫文字分享使用商品或服務經驗者,應就消費者因信賴文字內容所受之損害與企業經營者負連帶責任」法律對於網友此種帶有商業目的之行銷文章,其規範之目的為何?筆者認為應在確保消費資訊之公開、透明,並使企業經營者就此等屬於廣告性質之資訊,予以適當控管,負與一般廣告相同之商品或服務品質提供之義務,避免企業經營者間接透過部落格之行銷文章,規避其依法所負確保廣告內容真實性之義務。而此次之修正草案,對於企業經營者及受企業經營委託者,對於消費者所應負之義務內容已有明確規範。只是何謂「委託」,解釋上則可以參考前開FTC所公布之指導原則中之實例加以認定;另外,雖然草案中有規定企業經營者對於消費者所負之義務,不得低於委託他人於網路平台撰寫所表述之內容,但對於企業經營者監督寫作者須揭露其與企業經營者間之關聯性則未為規範,就此亦可參考前開FTC之實例說明,在未來立法上列為考量。

 

     目前雖然消費者保護法之立法尚未通過,筆者建議企業經營者應著手建立Web 2.0網路行銷之管理機制,避免不當的Web 2.0網路行銷手法,反而回過頭來灼傷自身,損及企業形象。企業法規遵循雖然有其成本,但也不妨視之為一種提升企業競爭力及社會公益形象之機制,筆者相信對於任何一家對消費者友善的企業,消費者都會願意給予實際的支持。而對於部落客或有心從事網路行銷的網友,與採取正當程序進行網路行銷的業者合作,才是維繫自身網路公信力的最佳方式,就讓我們拭目以待吧!
  

消費者保護法第二十二條、第二十三條及第五十六條條文修正草案

 

 關於廣告中使用背書及推薦之指導原則相關實例之原文
§255.0 Example 8:A consumer who regularly purchases a particular brand of dog food decides one day to purchase a new, more expensive brand made by the same manufacturer. She writes in her personal blog that the change in diet has made her dog’s fur noticeably softer and shinier, and that in her opinion, the new food definitely is worth the extra money. This posting would not be deemed an endorsement under the Guides.
Assume that rather than purchase the dog food with her own money, the consumer gets it for free because the store routinely tracks her purchases and its computer has generated a coupon for a free trial bag of this new brand. Again, her posting would not be deemed an endorsement under the Guides.
Assume now that the consumer joins a network marketing program under which she periodically receives various products about which she can write reviews if she wants to do so. If she receives a free bag of the new dog food through this program, her positive review would be considered an endorsement under the Guides.

§255.5 Example 7:A college student who has earned a reputation as a video game expert maintains a personal weblog or “blog” where he posts entries about his gaming experiences. Readers of his blog frequently seek his opinions about video game hardware and software. As it has done in the past, the manufacturer of a newly released video game system sends the student a free copy of the system and asks him to write about it on his blog. He tests the new gaming system and writes a favorable review. Because his review is disseminated via a form of consumer-generated media in which his relationship to the advertiser is not inherently obvious, readers are unlikely to know that he has received the video game system free of charge in exchange for his review of the product, and given the value of the video game system, this fact likely would materially affect the credibility they attach to his endorsement. Accordingly, the blogger should clearly and conspicuously disclose that he received the gaming system free of charge. The manufacturer should advise him at the time it provides the gaming system that this connection should be disclosed, and it should have procedures in place to try to monitor his postings for compliance.

 

 

 


* 關於廣告中使用背書及推薦之指導原則相關實例之原文

§255.0 Example 8:A consumer who regularly purchases a particular brand of dog food decides one day to purchase a new, more expensive brand made by the same manufacturer. She writes in her personal blog that the change in diet has made her dog's fur noticeably softer and shinier, and that in her opinion, the new food definitely is worth the extra money. This posting would not be deemed an endorsement under the Guides.

Assume that rather than purchase the dog food with her own money, the consumer gets it for free because the store routinely tracks her purchases and its computer has generated a coupon for a free trial bag of this new brand. Again, her posting would not be deemed an endorsement under the Guides.

Assume now that the consumer joins a network marketing program under which she periodically receives various products about which she can write reviews if she wants to do so. If she receives a free bag of the new dog food through this program, her positive review would be considered an endorsement under the Guides.

 

§255.5 Example 7:A college student who has earned a reputation as a video game expert maintains a personal weblog or "blog" where he posts entries about his gaming experiences. Readers of his blog frequently seek his opinions about video game hardware and software. As it has done in the past, the manufacturer of a newly released video game system sends the student a free copy of the system and asks him to write about it on his blog. He tests the new gaming system and writes a favorable review. Because his review is disseminated via a form of consumer-generated media in which his relationship to the advertiser is not inherently obvious, readers are unlikely to know that he has received the video game system free of charge in exchange for his review of the product, and given the value of the video game system, this fact likely would materially affect the credibility they attach to his endorsement. Accordingly, the blogger should clearly and conspicuously disclose that he received the gaming system free of charge. The manufacturer should advise him at the time it provides the gaming system that this connection should be disclosed, and it should have procedures in place to try to monitor his postings for compliance.

 

 

 

 

 

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