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September 23, 2009

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China cracks down on suspect television ads

TELEVISION shopping advertisements will be banned from broadcasting on satellite channels between 6pm and midnight nationwide from next year, according to the state television, film and radio watchdog.

The new rule is to stop TV shopping ads being broadcast as normal programs by some television stations.

According to a circular by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, mini commercial breaks for television shopping are barred from specialty channels including news and television shopping outlets.

The circular also bans ad breaks with adult content from education channels and channels for children.

Commercial breaks for drugs, products on sexual health, breast enhancement and diets or unlicensed items are strictly prohibited.

Also on the banned list are TV shopping ads with or cartoons of people's genitals.

At almost the same time, limits were set on ads during prime-time TV dramas and rules on six types of products and services were tightened.

Prime-time commercials will be limited to one minute and can be aired only once during each 45-minute episode of a TV series shown between 7pm and 9pm.

It is the first time authorities have specifically restricted the length and frequency of ads during the telecast of prime-time TV series.

Ads involving advertorial, tobacco, prescription drugs, superstitious tests and phone- chat services, exaggerating the effects of drugs as well as those advocating breast-milk substitutes, were banned.


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