Home shopping network ads under scrutiny

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Home shopping network ads under scrutiny

Television home shopping networks will face tougher scrutiny as a financial watchdog vows to reduce the growing cases of misleading advertising for insurance products sold on the retail channels.

The Financial Supervisory Service will impose stern disciplinary action, including suspension of advertising and punishment of executives, if a certain commercial segment repeatedly triggers consumer complaints and dispute cases, it said Wednesday.

The stronger measure comes as more TV shopping channels are caught with false or exaggerated advertising.

“Home shopping networks have emerged as a major channel to sell insurance products with combined annual registration exceeding 1.3 million,” the FSS said in a statement.

“But as the time of advertising is limited, misleading verbal messages are not filtered.”

The new rule will force each channel to gradually reduce the number of consumer complaints and disputes as is required by insurance companies.

If a company fails to meet designated targets, the company will be forced to record insurance ads in advance instead of airing them live.

The FSS will also ask retailers caught exaggerating in ads to feature notifications before programming that their advertising has been found false.

The latest move represents a toughened approach. Previously, FSS measures were limited to monitoring, devoid of specific penalties.

But an increasing number of consumers disgruntled over insufficient notification of terms prompted the FSS to tighten regulations. The FSS aims to implement the new rule within the year. Under the new rule, retailers are ordered to designate an executive to oversee the handling of complaints.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]
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