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China to tighten management over TV commercials

China has undertaken to draft new, stricter examination norms for television commercials in an effort to stem ads with inappropriate content or implications from appearing on TV screens, an official with the country's broadcasting watchdog said.

"The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) will work out new regulations shortly to improve the examination over the content of TV commercials, concerning mainly their design, image, taste and possible psychological impact on viewers of varying age groups," Ren Qian, deputy director of the SARFT, told Xinhua Thursday.

A growing number of ads produced by overseas advertising companies hit Chinese TV screens nowadays, and quite a few of them neglect cultural diversities between the East and West, often leading to misunderstandings, Ren acknowledged.

The SARFT has lately banned a Nike TV commercial, the "Chamber of Fear," which shows US basketball star LeBron James defeating an animated cartoon Kung Fu master, two women in traditional Chinese attire and a pair of dragons. The agency noted that the commercial, which ran for more than a month before the ban, violated norms mandating that "all ads in China should uphold national dignity and interest and respect the motherland's culture" and "ads should not contain contents that blaspheme national practices and cultures."

Nike issued an apology, saying the company intended no disrespect to Chinese culture.

Ren also held that many home-made ads in China were tasteless and vulgar, some even with excessive sex innuendo which "cause public detestation" and "exert negative impact on minors."

The SARFT will widely solicit public opinions while drafting the new examination regulations, which are expected to take effect in the first quarter of next year, he said.

"We hope the new regulations will set a distinct criterion for both domestic and overseas ads producers and effectively prevent the recurrence of commercials like the 'Chamber of Fear,'" Ren said.

People's Daily Online

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