The ruling Saenuri Party on Tuesday proposed new regulations that will force portal sites to differentiate between advertisements and search results.
Under the proposed revision to the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection Etc., portal operators will be required to introduce technical measures to distinguish search results that appear due to advertisement deals from non-commercial results.
“Through the revision, advertisements will be given different background colors or shown in different font to allow users to easily identify them,” Rep. Lee No-keun of the Saenuri Party said.
If the revisions are approved, incompliance will be punishable by fines of up to 30 million won ($27,000).
The measures are expected to significantly reduce portal operators’ related revenues. According to the industry, about 120,000 advertisers currently use Naver’s search function to advertise their products and services.
Naver is the country’s largest portal service through which about 60 percent of online searches are carried out. Last year, Naver’s revenue from its portal business came in at about 1.8 trillion won, of which 1.2 trillion won was raised by advertisement linked search results.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org