China clamps down on Teleshopping

China’s broadcasting and media regulator SARFT is demanding that satellite broadcasters cut the number of teleshopping ‘infomercials’.

Satellite TV channels are currently allowed to broadcast shopping advertisements, known as infomercials, only once per hour and no more than three minutes at a time, according to a circular released October 29th by the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

The same ad should be aired no more than three times per day, SARFT said, adding that its new ruling will take effect on January 1st 2014.

In a October 31st statement where the extra rules were detailed SARFT stressed that infomercials are to be banned between 6pm to midnight every day and should not include “news reporting, anchorpersons’ hosting and exaggerated ‘hawking’ voices and actions” as promotional methods.

“A handful of satellite TV channels have been broadcasting infomercials with exaggerated or false content repeatedly and for a long duration, harming people’s interests and affecting the social image of radio and TV,” said the statement.

SARFT said that shopping ads should not promote breast firming and slimming products and TV channels must show Chinese characters “Guang Gao,” specifying that it is an advertisement, on the top right corner of the screen when an infomercial is being broadcast.

The administration said it had urged radio and TV administrations at provincial level to strengthen supervision over satellite channels and seriously punish violators.

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