Stimulating consumer demand through conspicuous advertising content and legal regulations are often at odds with each other, and companies are faced with the problem of how to conduct effective advertising while complying with legal regulations.
In particular, the Consumer Affairs Agency is actively enforcing the labeling regulations of the Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations Act. There were 348 cases involving measure orders, and 57 cases which involved surcharge payment orders. ("Release of the number of legal action cases and summary of action cases on the Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations Act" published by the Consumer Affairs Agency on April 30, 2020). In recent years, there have been about 50 cases a year in which measure orders have been issued.
When a company is the subject of a measure order, it is often published and reported publicly, and this will have a significant impact on the reputation of a company, forcing it to respond quickly to customers.
In the event of misrepresentation, a company will automatically begin procedures for payment of a surcharge for up to three years. The order to pay the surcharge for the main products is critical because the amount of the surcharge is 3% of the sales of the products subject to the financial burden on a company which can be so great that it can impact the survival of the company.
We have been involved in the Consumer Affairs Agency's investigation of the Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations Act from the outset, providing opportunities to defend companies and helping clients to understand the risks involved.
Experience in representing clients in proceedings such as requests for review by the Agency, actions in court to revoke measure orders, and petitions for stays of enforcement are essential. We have a team of attorneys who have a wealth of experience in this field. In many cases, if you are merely complying with an investigation and request from the Consumer Affairs Agency, you may end up with a measure order. To minimize the prejudice caused to a company through interviews and protests with the investigators in charge, and through effective pleading, we will suggest an appropriate plan.