Friday, July 29, 2011

The DTI Sales Promotion Permit Issue: My Two Cents

I have been reading about the issue on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sales promotion permit which, according to existing policies is supposed to cover not just businesses but bloggers and individuals as well. Ms. Janette Toral wrote an article about this based on DigitalFilipino Club and IMMAP members’briefing on online promotion with the DTI.

My first reaction upon reading about this DTI sales promotion permit topic was, “Why should individuals/bloggers be covered when there is no “sale” taking place. Thus, there is no seller-consumer relationship. And even though by definition, a consumer is “a natural person who is a purchaser, lessee, recipient or prospective purchaser, lessor or recipient of consumer products, services or credit,” according to the Consumer Act of the Philippines, since online promotions conducted by most bloggers do not require participants to buy anything from the blog (with the exception of online stores), then those involved in the promotion are not consumers or prospective consumers. Therefore, blog promotions are not to be under the sales promotion policy in the first place.

According to the Consumer Act of the Philippines , "Sales Promotion" is defined as techniques intended for broad consumer participation which contain promises of gain such as prizes, in cash or in kind, as reward for the purchase of a product, security, service or winning in contest, game, tournament and other similar competitions which involve determination of winner/s and which utilize mass media or other widespread media of information.

A blog that runs online promotions, whether to increase its own or its advertiser’s popularity and reach through backlinks, fans and/or followers, is just the advertising medium - not the business itself that needs to be under the jurisdiction of DTI. Advertisers of consumer products, services or credit, I believe, are the ones that need to seek the sales promotion permit from DTI.

What needs to happen is that DTI should listen to the voice of more bloggers, whether or not we are organized into a group/organization/alliance/association so they can better understand the different cases of bloggers and come up with a sound policy about sales promotion permits.



Anonymous said...

Just maybe DTI is just protecting the recipient of said prize or promotion. I myself had been a victim of such promotion that I won a contest knowing that I will receive that such item. But to my dismay they given me much a lesser item from what I have expected.

Some people use promotions to gain popularity. But when it comes to giving out prizes and stuff they tend to be bogus.

I know it will be time consuming to file such promotions. But look it on the brighter side its also the promoters protection in case the recipient will complain.

Jeff's post on the DTI sales promo permit said...

Dear Mr/Ms. Anonymous, I fully understand the importance of accountability, but like I wrote in the post, I don't think DTI's sales promotion permit rightly covers these blog promos.

The promotions are advertising campaigns to increase traffic or a blog's popularity not to increase sales, so they are not sales promotions