Promoting products or services by advertising and other forms of
propaganda ("Advertising Behavior") has always being
crucial for emerging retail brands to build their brand image,
increase sales and secure market share. It is not rare for
authorities in China to challenge retailers for improper
Advertising Behavior, but how many of the retail market players
have bothered to watch their steps in the various ways of
conducting advertisements and propaganda in China?
Given that the rules governing Advertising Behavior are
scattered in different laws and regulations, retailers in China,
especially multinational retail brands, always find it difficult to
see the whole picture of what they ought to do or not to do and
where they may cross the line. The following Dos and Don'ts,
which are summarized based on detailed requirements under the
various relevant PRC laws and regulations and developed from our
previous experience, could be of some helpful guidance for
retailers in China:
Ensure the contents of your advertisements are true, accurate,
lawful, authentic, clearly indicated, definite and recognizable as
use formal, standard language, use Chinese as the primary
language and foreign languages as the secondary language;
be ready to provide reasonable bases for the advertising claims
before they are disseminated; and
obtain prior approval from up-stream sellers for the use of any
information or description of their products.
Avoid making false or misleading advertisements, including any
of the following behaviors:
Deceive the consumers with non-existent facts
Exaggerate the content of the advertisement so as to make them
inconsistent with the facts
Deliberately omitting key information in representations or
when quoting supporting evidence
Using ambiguous language
Publishing advertisements in the form of news reports, or
expert and consumer interviews
Fail to provide appropriate reference objects
Making false propaganda on commodity prices and market
information and damaging the interests of competitors
Making direct comparisons with competitors' products in the
form of commercial defamation
Plagiarizing or imitating a competitor's advertising
Do not include any content that is expressly prohibited by law
in your advertisement, such as (i) words indicating something is of
national level, the highest grade or the best, (ii) the national
flag, national emblem or national anthem and (iii) contents that
compromise public order or social customs.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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