Front Page of the Day

Will SARFT save us from annoying ads for quack tonics?

Beijing Morning Post
July 31, 2008

China's media regulator SARFT has vowed to step up its efforts to clean up illegal and distasteful commercials from television broadcasts.

This push comes after a dispute caused by a selection of screen shots circulating on the Internet which showed a text crawl for a sexually transmitted disease medicine superimposed over CCTV-1's Network News broadcast. The TV station which is responsible for the blunder was found to be the Dongtai TV station in Jiangsu Province, but similar commercials have aired on many other TV stations.

In a meeting held in Yangzhou yesterday, Ren Qian, a vice director from the Social Administration Department of SARFT, said that there are some advertisements from medications that violated the laws banning drug companies from using people in their commercials who attest to the effectiveness of the product. Though some of the medications have been approved by authorities, SARFT believes advertisers use these kind of testimonials to exaggerate the effectiveness of their product and thus "mislead the audience."

It is also currently illegal to overlay advertisements over any national broadcast. Of the scrolling advertisements for STD medication aired over CCTV news hour by Dongtai TV station, Ren says this "shameless" incident is evidence of "malicious competition" between the TV stations.

SARFT has also pledged to eliminated advertisements that are "low and vulgar," though they may still be legal under current laws. Among the list of companies airing commercials SARFT disapproves of are two of China's most publicized health care medications: Naobaijin ('Brain Platinum') and Huangjin Dadang ('Gold Partner'). The products have been advertised on many TV channels, including CCTV-1, for years.

Text advertisement for STD medication scrolling over CCTV's nightly news

Both products are the brainchildren of China's marketing guru Shi Yuzhu whose signature promotion tactic is bombarding the market with commercials.

Vice director Ren says the slogans in these advertisements are misleading and could have negative effect on the young people's values. Naobaijin's slogan goes, "No one receives any gift but Naobaojin this spring festival!" and Huangjin Dadang says, "Send it to your teacher, send it to your relatives, send it to your leaders!" Some people perceive these slogans as encouraging the Chinese 'gift-giving' tradition which is sometimes difficult to distinguish from bribery.

To save TV viewers from overexposure to "low" commercials, Ren also said that advertisements for underwear, bras and menstrual pads are only allowed late at night, and medications for diseases like hemorrhoids, which might repulse some of the audience, are banned from being advertised during the hours when people are most likely be eating meals. The rules are not new, but neither have been fully enforced, despite the best efforts of the authorities.

Links and Sources
There are currently 1 Comments for Will SARFT save us from annoying ads for quack tonics?.

Comments on Will SARFT save us from annoying ads for quack tonics?

every year CCTV earning hundreds billion RMB from advertises. It can do what he watns to do. Now it's time to take money and undermine you!

Media Partners
Visit these sites for the latest China news
090609guardian2.png 090609CNN3.png
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.
Danwei Archives
Danwei Feeds
Via Feedsky rsschiclet2.png (on the mainland)
or Feedburner rsschiclet.gif (blocked in China)
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Main feed: Main posts (FB has top links)
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Top Links: Links from the top bar
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Danwei Jobs: Want ads
rsschiclet2.png rsschiclet.gif Danwei Digest: Updated daily, 19:30