The Taipei High Administrative Court rendered the 105-Su-865 Administrative Decision of December 8, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that since the market value of special exhibition items is claimed in advertisements to attract visitors, such value should be based on comparable actual market transaction prices or appraised prices determined by fair and objective third parties.
According to the facts underlying the Decision, the Special Exhibition of True Leonardo da Vinci (hereinafter, the “Special Exhibition at Issue”) was originally conducted in the Huashan Creative Park in Taipei. It was claimed in its website and ticketing information that “Leonardo da Vinci’s self-portraits were worth NT$7 billion…,” “55 masterpieces of painting valued at over NT$10 billion,” “visitors granted with one-stop access to a genuine collection of paintings valued at close to NT$10 billion, “and” the market value exceeds 200 million euros”(hereinafter, the “Advertisement at Issue”). The Defendant subsequently reviewed and held that the Plaintiff’s Advertisement at Issue involved false and misleading representations with respect to services in violation of Article 21, Paragraph 4 of the Fair Trade Law, to which Paragraph 1 of the same article applies mutatis mutandis, and imposed a fine of NT$500,000 on the Plaintiff via the original disposition. Dissatisfied, Plaintiff brought this administrative action pursuant to applicable procedures.
According to the Decision, since the Advertisement at Issue claimed that the special exhibition at issue had specific objective value in order to create the impression that the collection of paintings was precious and to attract visitors, such objective value should certainly be supported by comparable actual market transaction prices or appraised prices determined by fair and objective third parties. This was different from the subjective sense of value generated in the appreciation of works of arts.
It was further held in this Decision that the Plaintiff’s complaint should be rejected since determination and penalty imposed in the original disposition for violation of the Fair Trade Law by the Advertisement at Issue were not unlawful.