The Consumer Affairs Agency designated so-called "stealth marketing," in which advertisers advertise while hiding the fact that it is an advertisement on the Internet, as a prohibited act under the Act on Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations on May 28. This is the first time that stealth marketing has been regulated by Japan, and the Consumer Affairs Agency has announced operational standards for enforcement on October 10.

Stealth marketing advertises products and services under the guise of individual user impressions, even though they are actually requested by advertisers such as companies, and in December last year, a study group of the Consumer Affairs Agency compiled a report stating that "regulation is necessary."

In response to this, the Consumer Affairs Agency announced on the 12th that stealth marketing was designated as a prohibited act as a misrepresentation under the Act on Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations.

It is the first time that stealth marketing is regulated in Japan.

The notification states that "indications that make it difficult for general consumers to determine that they are business operators" are mislabels.

The operational standards are

According to published operating standards, all media such as the Internet, television, and newspapers are subject to regulation, and in order to clearly indicate to consumers whether or not an advertisement is an advertisement, for example, "advertisement", "promotion", "PR", etc., and if it is unclear, such as being written in small compared to the surrounding characters, it is considered to be a misrepresentation.

In addition, so-called "fraudulent reviews" or "fake reviews" that give high evaluations in exchange for some kind of consideration on online shopping sites are also subject to regulation.

The new regulations will come into effect on October 10.