DTI briefing with bloggers on consumer act and promo/contest permit

DTI Secretary Gregory L. Domingo took the time to be present in the briefing with the bloggers on the Consumer Act and guidelines in holding contests and sales promo to bloggers. The DTI staff are actually quite open-minded and realized that there are so many iterations regarding promotions in blogs.

Sec. Domingo resolved that a temporary measure is to put a threshold. For now DTI will set a threshold amount of 1 million pesos worth of raffle prizes per year per blogger. Then a technical working group will be formed that will work with bloggers. It was also added that no permit required for company sponsored prizes that is 200,000 pesos/year or less and where the blogger does not derive revenue from it.

Peter Juan explains it all :

So I was fortunate enough to be at the DTI discussion with the bloggers regarding the issue of having to secure a DTI permit for online contests. It has been decided that the matter will require more than a few meetings in order to hammer out the details that in a manner that will be fair to everyone involved, from bloggers of whatever kind, the agencies and advertisers that interface with them, to the readers of those blogs. In the interim, The DTI secretary Gregory Domingo, has established these guidelines:

1. All bloggers, be they personal diarists, professional bloggers or any combination that lie in between are NOT REQUIRED to secure a DTI permit granted as long as the contest does not require any purchase and the annual cost of the prizes are under Php1,000,000 and the prizes are technically provided by the blogger

2. In cases where the prizes are provided by a sponsor, whether as a good will gift to the blogger or as a specific prize for a promo, the blogger is NOT REQUIRED to secure a DTI permit as long as the annual cost of all such promotions do not exceed Php200,000.

3. In the event that those cost thresholds for the conditions above are exceeded, then it will be the blogger’s responsibility to secure a DTI permit.

4. These guidelines will be moderated through the honor system and those caught will be penalized. (What those penalties are however were not discussed.)

Although not specifically a guideline, it was also discussed and proposed that all online contests should provide full disclosure, from the source of the prizes down to how the winners will be chosen. Transparency is as always key to ensure that the contest is fair to all involved.

Although I’d be the first to admit that these guidelines and proposals are still not optimal, I am happy to say that the discussion is ongoing and the DTI are extremely open to hearing out the online community in order to come up with more comprehensive guidelines and processes regarding this issue. In my opinion, today’s meeting was a very good first step. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. To all involved, BLOG ON!

It is recalled the DTI issue came about after Janette Toral posted this blog entry, Individuals, Bloggers, Businesses need a DTI Sales Promotion Permit even if there is no purchase required. The issue created a #DTIblag hashtag and a lot of angry tweets causing a world wide trend. There appeared to be a misunderstanding when “two agencies approached IMMAP to help them clear things up concerning the Department of Trade and Industry or DTI permits for Facebook contests.”

(to be continued)

Here is what transpired at the DTI briefing