The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Wednesday it has penalized 42 pop-up stores, or “tteotda rooms” as called here, which illegally sold medical devices to the elderly using false or exaggerated sales tactics.
Tteotda rooms, impromptu stores set up illegally by individuals or companies that sell health foods, sell a variety of medical or general products with no proven efficacy. Salespeople at these pop-up stores aim to exploit socially vulnerable people, such as the elderly and women, by letting them experience the products first-hand in discreet locations.
|Visitors to an impromptu shop listen to a marketer’s explanation.|
For instance, the ministry said it discovered a farm in Geumsan-gun, South Chungcheong Province, which sold some 15.4 million won ($14,370) worth of antler extract to tourists by falsely promoting the food product to prevent and treat a variety of illnesses including prostate disease, dementia, and rhinitis.
Another sales company in Busan set up a venue and advertised their functional food product as a treatment for depression and insomnia, the ministry said. The calcium products, worth 40,000 won, were sold at 2.7 times its price at 110,000 won, fetching a total of 50.3 million won ($45,850), it added.
The government cracked down on 969 such places, it said. Of them, 42 sites were penalized for false or exaggerated advertisement of foods, health products, and medical devices, it said.
Meanwhile, the ministry warned that sales methods employed by pop-up stores are getting more sophisticated. The agency said it would continue carrying out intensive crackdowns with related organizations, such as the National Police Agency, asking people to report such stores to the government.
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