On December 24, 2014, the second amendment to the draft PRC
Advertising Law (Amendment) was released, proposing more
requirements for advertising companies and endorsers in the PRC.
The key additions to the existing draft amendment are as
There is a new definition of "Advertising" that will
be covered by the PRC Advertising Law: Any commercial advertisement
released on any media or in any form for the purpose of directly or
indirectly introducing a product or service. This new definition
indicates that free advertisements will be regulated by PRC
Advertising Law, as it removes any reference to payment from the
The Amendment also imposes new restrictions on endorsers, as
follows: (i) Endorsers (i.e. celebrities and other notable persons)
may not endorse pharmaceuticals, medicinal food products, or
medical devices, (ii) Minors (under 10 years of age) may not act as
endorsers, and (iii) Endorsers would not have enhanced liability,
i.e., if an endorser endorses a product even though they knew or
should have known that the advertisement contained false content,
the Administration of Industry and Commerce (AIC)
may confiscate any proceeds received by the endorser for such
endorsement, and impose a fine equivalent to one or two times those
illegal proceeds; in addition, where the legitimate rights and
interests of consumers have been harmed, the endorser shall have
joint and several liability with the other responsible parties.
There are also some new requirements for the contents and form
of advertising: (i) Online pop-up ads must be able to be closed
with a click, (ii) The flags, emblems and songs of the PRC armed
forces may not be used in advertisements; (iii) The duration of
advertising must be prominently and clearly indicated, (iv) The
mass media will be required to publish public service
announcements, and (v) Tobacco advertisements may only be published
in tobacco shops. Publishing tobacco ads in any other locations or
through any other media is prohibited. In addition, all tobacco ads
must be approved by the AIC.
Taken together, these changes indicate that the Chinese
government is strengthening advertising requirements and may plan
to issue more detailed regulations in the future. It remains to be
seen whether any specific enforcement measures will be taken.
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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