False or exaggerated advertisements can damage consumers by giving incorrect information or providing misleading information. Because social networking sites and media have increased, many false advertisements that have been created directly by individuals have been reported in alarming ways. Social networking service (SNS) is easy to draw sympathy from others, so advertisements actively use these platforms. SNS is not only a platform for personal connections it is also a way for communication between consumers and sellers, making single-person companies more convenient and better connected. At the same time, however, social networking sites and various one-person media sites are abusing these platforms not only to deceive customers but also to earn money through the use of false advertisements.
In January 2020, a case where users were found to have used fake devices and false advertisements on social media sites to promote dieting and detoxification products. They had more than 100,000 followers and included both broadcasters and celebrities. The sellers adjusted the pictures of their bodies which emphasize the slimness to induce buying the diet product.
When we encounter false exaggerated advertisements, what are some ways to protect ourselves? One way is to know laws about false advertisements. The basic rights of consumers are prescribed by the law named ‘Framework Act on Consumers’. It states, “consumers may be observed through any unfair transaction”. More analysis on the rationalization choice of trade practices in article 12 of the consumer act specify, “The state can determine unfair actions by enterprisers who are deemed to interfere with the rational choice of consumers, cause fear, or inflict harm on consumers”.
It is also important to be suspicious when advertisements use false labeling, advertising, exaggerate facts, or label things as ‘good or advantageous’ to other products with legitimate labeling. If you find such misleading advertisements that are not only suspicious but also legally problematic, or you have already purchased the product through these advertisements, you should contact the ‘Fair Trade Commission’ as soon as possible.
If you have not already purchased a product, stay away from the product of the company. The law on fair labeling and advertising stipulates corresponding punishment that undermines consumer’s rights and interests and thereby harms market confidence. This law implements a program to promote consumers’ rights and interests so consumers are not misled by misinformation. Every product should bear a mark ‘fair trade commission’ to help consumers know the product is legitimate. These laws show that our society can punish the wrong advertisements.
There should be no advertisers that seek profit from people by misinformation and manipulation. Above all, the only way to protect yourself from the damage is to be constantly concerned with false or exaggerated advertisements. Being aware of protective advertisement legislation can minimize the damage that comes to ourselves. To know the law is to keep the law, and knowing the law is the way to protect yourself.