Japan Direct Marketing Association


Guidelines for TV Shopping

The following guidelines were drawn up for the purpose of the sound progress of direct marketing business using TV media, including conventional broadcasting, BS (Broadcasting Satellite), CS (Communications Satellite), and CATV (Cable Television), in accordance with the Specified Commercial Transactions Law, other related regulations, and the standards set by the National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan and other TV media. All members are required to comply with the following guidelines:


Direct marketing through TV media should respect the intention of the Specified Commercial Transaction Law and General Ethical Standards Enforced by the Japan Direct Marketing Association (JADMA) and should use simple and clear descriptions, based on facts through picture, voice, and letters. Descriptions here mean visual expressions with letters and voice. The character of TV information is that it is momentary, and more difficult to keep a record of compared to printed media. On the other hand, its impact is stronger than that of printed media. Therefore, if the explanation is insufficient, or inaccurate, it can easily cause trouble. To prevent this from happening, the following information should be provided:

1. Sales Description

[1] Seller
(a) Name
(b)Telephone number and address
[2] Sale Conditions
(a) The following information should be televised in accordance to the Specified Commercial Transaction Law:
-Sales price
-Payment term and method
-Delivery period or date
-Effective sale period, if any
Any special conditions such as limited quantity of merchandise available, or special sales agreements.
(b) When merchandise is sold under an installment payment plan, marketers should show the terms and conditions of installment sales as prescribed in the law's provisions for Installment Sales:
-Regular cash price
-Installment price
-Payment terms and number of payments
-Rate of handling charge
[3] Incidental Costs
Incidental costs excluded in the merchandise price, such as delivery charges, packaging charges, assembly charges and handling charges (other than remittance charges) should be televised.
[4] Tax
It should be clear if consumption tax is included in the price or not.
[5] Return Policy
Generally merchandise may be returned for refund. The return period and cost, the conditions when returns are not accepted such as a special order or peculiarity of the merchandise, should be shown. The case of a special order or the peculiarity of the merchandise should be indicated.

2. Information on Merchandise

[1] Name of the merchandise and its characteristics (quality, material, performance, form, colour, weight, size, manufacturer, proper care, etc.) should be televised to the extent possible in the TV shopping advertisement/programme.
[2] Information on merchandise should conform to all relevant laws and Fair Competition Covenants.
[3] Descriptions of merchandise should conform to all relevant laws and Fair Competition Covenants.

3. Standards for Description of Specific Matters

When making any of the following claims in an advertisement, etc., the claim should comply with the appropriate regulations as follows:
[1] Claims of Superiority
Comparison not based on the actual facts, or damaging statements regarding competing merchandise, should not be televised in order to claim superiority. Comparisons of quality and performance should be expressed in definite numbers and the source of the information should be indicated.
[2] Superlative Claims
The superlative degree of the adjective should be supported by definite numbers and the source of the information should be indicated. Any expression which means "forever" and/or "perfect" should be used with caution, so as not to mislead consumers.
[3] Double Price Indication
Double price indication is permitted only when it is well-grounded and the comparative price is clearly described (i.e., market price, regular price, previous price, etc.).
[4] Use of Numerical Values
When indicating quality and/or performance of merchandise by a numerical value, the method of measurement should be included.
[5] Claim of Recognition
When indicating any recognition from any public institutions or any prize won, the content of the recognition, the date and name of the institution or prize should be indicated.
[6] Used Merchandise
When the merchandise is not new and use, it should clearly be explained.
[7] Testimony and Recommendations
Testimonies and recommendations should be trustworthy.

4. Presenting Premiums and Prizes

When presenting premiums and prizes, regulations for special merchandise should be observed and the amount permitted by the law should not be exceeded. Information regarding premiums and prizes should be given in a manner that will not cause any misunderstanding to consumers.


1. Basic Standards

[1] Standards Set by Laws and Regulations
Merchandise sold through TV shopping should comply with all laws and regulations as well as public orders and morals and should not invade rights of others.
[2] Standards for Safety
Merchandise sold through TV shopping should comply with the safety standards set by the relevant laws, and should not cause any danger in the normal range of misuse of the merchandise.
[3] Standards for Description
Merchandise sold through TV shopping should carry proper descriptions as required by the relevant laws, as well as appropriate information for consumers to select and take care of the merchandise.

2. Description Standards

[1] Descriptions on merchandise sold through TV media should comply with the Household Merchandise Quality Description Law, other relevant laws and the Fair Competition Agreement.
[2] Merchandise should carry information on the place of origin so as not to mislead consumers.
[3] If there is any instruction how to handle or take care of the merchandise, an instruction manual should be attached to the merchandise. A Japanese translation should be provided if the manual is written in a foreign language.


1. Customer Service

The phone number and the address of the customer service office should be included with the merchandise when shipped. The telephone line should remain alive at least 6 months after the telecasting.

2. Issuance of Installment Sales Agreemente

Upon the completion of an installment sale, a written agreement should be supplied to the buyer as required by the Installment Sales Law.

3. Prepayment Sale

If a consumer has to pay all or a part of the price before they receive the merchandise, the ordered merchandise or acknowledgment of the order receipt should be sent to the consumer upon the receipt of the payment without any delay, as required by the Door to Door Sales Law.

4. Unordered Merchandise

Consumers have the liberty of refusing unordered merchandise. In such a case, the marketer should withdraw the merchandise immediately. After a certain period of time in compliance with Specified Commercial Transaction Law, the marketer should not request the return of such merchandise.

5. Cancellation before Delivery

Any cancellation before delivery of the merchandise should be accepted unless it is a special order.

6. Broken, Spoiled or Incorrect Merchandise

Marketers should refund or exchange merchandise broken and/or spoiled due to delivery, as well as incorrect merchandise without charging any extra cost to customers.

7. Delay of Delivery

If the delivery date should be delayed further than the said period, the marketer should notify the delay to the customers immediately. Cancellations due to this delay should be accepted unconditionally.

8. Customers' Lists

The following requests from customers should be immediately taken care of:
1) Deletion of his/her name from the customers' list.
2) Disclosure of the list contents on him/herself and correction of incorrect information on him/herself.

The above guidelines were drawn by Japan Direct Marketing Association on

11th March, 1997.