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姚明代言产品涉嫌虚假宣传被起诉

2014-05-15    来源:China Daily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

因认为自己购买的汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊存在虚假宣传问题,日前,市民冯长顺将经销商北京百姓阳光大药房有限公司及该产品代言人姚明告上法庭。中国青年报记者从北京市西城区人民法院了解到,该案已正式立案。

Man sues Yao Ming for 'misleading' fish oil pill

Former NBA star Yao Ming is being sued by Beijing resident Feng Changshun for endorsing a health food product that Feng said misleads consumers, in one of the first consumer rights cases involving a celebrity since a new protection law was enacted in March.

Feng is suing Baxsun Pharmacy, a retail chain in Beijing, for exaggerating the benefits of its fish oil capsules.

Yao, a spokesman for the product, is also being sued. Beijing’s Xicheng district court has confirmed that it will hear the case.

Feng said he is seeking 500 yuan ($80.10) in compensation from the retail chain and 0.01 yuan from Yao Ming.

"(The lawsuit) is symbolic. I want (Yao Ming) to admit to infringements of my rights," he said

The court said no date has been set for a hearing.

According to the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights and Interests, enacted on March 15, social groups and individuals who endorse products or services that harm consumers should be held liable together with the producer or service provider.

Feng said he bought a bottle of fish oil capsules in February at a Baxsun Pharmacy store because he suffers from occasional memory loss and poor eyesight. Sales assistants at the store gave him a promotional pamphlet about the product and said the fish oil capsules, produced by Guangzhou-based By-Health Co, would help remedy his ailments.

"According to the handout, the product could help ease my sufferings," he said.

Feng said he is a big fan of Yao, and the fact that the former NBA star endorsed the product was a major reason why he bought it.

"I adore Yao and I decided to buy the product to support him," Feng said.

But the oil capsules failed to cure his ailments and Feng later discovered that fish oil is only considered a health food, not medicine.

"I am angry because it has delayed my medical treatment. It feels like I have been used as a lab mouse," Feng said.

Yao has been the face for By-Health Co, a producer of health foods and dietary supplements, since December 2010 and has so far appeared in a number of commercials for the company. His image appears on the package of the fish oil capsule bottles.

"Yao exercised discretion when he selected the company to endorse it, believing it is an accountable enterprise," said Lu Hao, Yao’s agent in China.

He said Yao has spoken to the company about the lawsuit and understands that information about its products on the company’s websites and promotional pamphlets is within the limits as permitted by the law and "is not misleading".

"Yao will pay close attention to the issue and respect the facts. He also has big concerns about consumer rights protection," Lu said.

By-Health said in a statement on Wednesday that its promotions of fish oil capsules are in accordance with the law, and the quality of its products meets safety standards.

Yue Weiping, a manager of operations at Baxsun Pharmacy, said the company has been notified by the court about the case and is communicating with By-Health.

Qiu Baochang, head of Huijia Law Firm in Beijing and a consumer rights lawyer, said the case is a warning to celebrities in representing a product or service.

"They should choose their words carefully when they endorse products related to consumers’ health," he said. (China Daily)

背景介绍

鱼油软胶囊有多大功效?

事情始于今年2月,冯长顺在北京百姓阳光大药房购买了一瓶汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊。

“我现在手边的事情特别多,但记忆力不好,总是丢东忘西的。平时又总爱盯着电脑,视力也不好。”冯长顺在起诉书中写道,“销售人员宣称汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊,可以对三高人群,心脑血管疾病人群、脑溢血、脑血栓、中风,动脉硬化、心脏病、老年痴呆人群、患有关节炎、痛风、哮喘、记忆力衰退、视力衰退及有老花趋势者,有治疗作用,适合少吃海鱼或不吃海鱼人群。”

“买这个产品,就是冲着姚明买的。我是姚明的球迷,一看这个产品宣传的疗效正好有适合自己的,那就买吧”。

但随后,冯长顺说,自己使用后,觉得产品名不符实,有虚假宣传欺骗消费者的嫌疑。后来他了解到,北京市工商行政管理局昌平分局此前已对相关情况有过认定,并进行了处罚。

中国青年报记者在北京市工商行政管理局官方网站上查询到了冯长顺所指的行政处罚决定书,由北京市工商行政管理局昌平分局对北京世纪卓越信息技术有限公司(以下简称“卓越公司”——记者注)作出,其中曾提及汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊的宣传用语问题。

这份文号为“京工商昌处字(2012)第550号”、落款日期为2012年7月26日的行政处罚决定书中写道:“汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊是一种保健食品,在其《国产保健品批准证书》中批准的内容是:保健功能是辅助降血脂和适宜人群为血脂偏高者。而在其宣传网页上(即卓越网——记者注),记载有‘建议人群:三高人群,心脑血管疾病人群。脑溢血、脑血栓、中风、动脉硬化、心脏病、老年痴呆人群。记忆力衰退、视力衰退及有老花趋势者。少吃海鱼或不吃海鱼人群。’”

处罚书认定,卓越公司利用其网站,对八种保健食品(包括汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊——记者注)所做的上述功效的宣传用语,超出了《国产保健品批准证书》或《保健食品注册批件》中批准的内容,足以导致消费者对这些产品功效的误解。卓越公司上述行为违反了我国《反不正当竞争法》,属于虚假宣传的不正当竞争行为。处罚书责令卓越公司停止引人误解的虚假宣传行为,消除影响,同时决定对其处以罚款20万元。

冯长顺说,药店销售人员给他的产品宣传资料所载内容,与上述处罚书中认定虚假宣传事实的内容大致相同。他认为,这说明自己购买产品时也存在虚假宣传问题。

但汤臣倍健官方网站上对该产品的介绍中,适宜人群为血脂偏高者,与前述处罚书中所载《国产保健品批准证书》的批准内容相符。

日前,冯长顺向北京市西城区人民法院提起诉讼,将北京百姓阳光大药房有限公司作为被告,姚明列为第二被告,要求其承担连带责任。

是否虚假宣传?

北京百姓阳光大药房有限公司运营部经理岳卫平告诉中国青年报记者,公司已收到法院的通知,正在进一步了解消费者是在哪家门店购买、购买时是什么情况等具体信息,同时,也在与厂家进行沟通。

岳卫平说,公司并不允许任何宣传材料进门店,不知消费者的宣传材料从何而来。“我们这块门店管理是非常严格的。”

中国青年报记者近日来到北京百姓阳光大药房一家位于西城区的门店,向销售人员询问是否有该产品的宣传册,销售人员带着记者走到货架后的一个柜子旁,从一堆资料中抽出一本宣传册。记者在这本宣传手册上看到,鱼油软胶囊的建议人群为:三高、中风、动脉硬化、心脏病、老年痴呆人群;记忆力衰退、视力衰退及有老花趋势者。

为采访本案的另一被告姚明,中国青年报记者联系到北京众辉国际体育管理有限公司(该公司官网介绍,其是姚明的经纪代理机构——记者注),该公司对本案未予回应。

汤臣倍健股份有限公司则回应称,汤臣倍健鱼油软胶囊是经过国家食药监局批准的保健食品(国食健字G20070413),产品标签严格按照保健食品批准证书进行标识。汤臣倍健对包括鱼油软胶囊在内的各种产品的宣传推广,也严格遵守相关法律法规。该公司对记者表示,他们并非此案被告,也未收到法院相关诉讼材料,但此案涉及汤臣倍健相关产品,本着对消费者负责的态度,公司会关注案件的进展。

虚假广告代言明星难免责

明星代言涉嫌虚假宣传已非新鲜话题。今年3月15日正式实施的新《消费者权益保护法》首次明确,明星代言广告如涉及虚假宣传,将与商家一起承担连带责任。

北京市消费者权益保护法学会理事芦云介绍说,此前,我国法律关于明星代言虚假广告的规定,主要是集中在食品卫生领域,覆盖范围有限。

“虽然我国法律早有《食品安全法》和《侵权责任法》规定明星代言的连带责任,但《食品安全法》是在一个特定食品行业里,保健品能否纳入《食品安全法》一直存在争议。” 芦云说,刚实施的新《消费者权益保护法》,则将覆盖范围扩大到了整个消费领域。

新《消费者权益保护法》第45条规定:广告经营者、发布者设计、制作、发布关系消费者生命健康商品或者服务的虚假广告,造成消费者损害的,应当与提供该商品或者服务的经营者承担连带责任。

同时,新《消费者权益保护法》还提出了“连带责任”的概念,社会团体或者其他组织、个人在关系消费者生命健康商品或者服务的虚假广告或者其他虚假宣传中向消费者推荐商品或者服务,造成消费者损害的,应当与提供该商品或者服务的经营者承担连带责任。

而修改前,承担连带责任的主体仅规定了社会团体或其他组织。修改后,承担连带责任的主体增加了个人,即包括代言广告的明星。

北京汇佳律师事务所律师、北京市消费者协会法律顾问邱宝昌解释说,这就让新《消费者权益保护法》涵盖的范围更广,对包括代言明星在内的自然人都加强了约束力。邱宝昌表示,只要是涉及消费者生命健康的虚假广告,消费者起诉广告主、广告经营者、广告发布者以及广告代言人都有法可循,法院也可以根据案情追加被告人。

中国人民大学法学院教授、中国消费者协会副会长刘俊海则表示,消费者如果想打赢这场官司,首先需要提供证据证明广告或宣传是虚假的,其次还要确认产品给其造成了损害。

“但不管姚明是否承担责任,这都为明星代言敲响了警钟。明星们一定要知道,广告代言不是艺术活动,也不仅仅是道德活动,而是一个法律活动。”刘俊海说。



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