4 mandatory controls for commercial advertisements on social media

Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce revealed 4 mandatory controls for the mechanisms of electronic commercial advertisements on social media sites, and said: “They include the advertiser’s permission to submit an advertisement material, and he mentioned the name of the advertised product and service and the name of the service provider.” The controls also included, that the advertisement does not include any allegations. Or false or misleading expressions to the consumer, and not to advertise any counterfeit or fraudulent product or trademark that the service provider does not have the right to use, and Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein pointed out the importance of advertisers ’adherence to the controls of advertising on social media sites in accordance with the provisions of the e-commerce system and its implementing regulations, demanding to report any Violations of these controls by applying a “commercial report” or consumer protection.

The Ministry of Commerce imposed fines of 740,000 riyals against violators of the electronic advertising controls stipulated in the e-commerce system and its implementing regulations.

The violations included 17 advertisers and announced through social media platforms such as “Snapchat, Twitter”, and varied from non-disclosure of advertising materials for multiple products, in addition to false claims for coffee products and various food products, and currency exchange.

The Ministry recently amended the executive regulations of the e-commerce system aimed at clarifying the mechanism for returning amounts paid to e-store owners in the event of a consumer canceling the contract, in light of international best practices, in order to protect the consumer and achieve balance between the parties to the contractual relationship.

The trade noted that one of the most prominent features of the amendment draft is the stipulation for a specific period of time (14 days) to return the service provider what the consumer has paid in the event of the contract being terminated, in addition to obligating the service provider to return these amounts without delay – unless the delay is outside the service provider’s control. The draft amendment included obliging the service provider to return these amounts using a method similar to the means of payment that the consumer used to pay, and the trade indicated that the 14-day period is calculated in the event that the consumer terminates the contract according to Article (13) of the system, so it shall be from the date the service provider received the recovered product, Or from the date on which the consumer notifies the service provider to terminate the contract in the event that the product is not sent to the consumer, or he does not benefit from the service provider’s service, and he does not obtain a benefit from either of them, as well as if the consumer terminates the contract according to Article (14) of the system, so it is from the date of the notification Consumer service provider termination of the contract.

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