Advertising law help for foreigners

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 January, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 January, 1995, 12:00am

THE Chinese Government will allow local media to accept more foreign advertisements under a new industry law.

The Advertising Law, which comes into effect on Wednesday, is the country's first governing the bourgeoning industry, which recorded total billings of 13.4 billion yuan (HK$12.2 billion) last year.

According to a report from the semi-official Hong Kong China News Agency yesterday, the authorities are encouraging local media to expand advertising by allowing them to accept more foreign bookings and gradually phase out the three-tier rates system for local firms, Sino-foreign joint ventures and foreign companies.

The report said the three-tier system caused confusion among foreign advertisers. It admitted that due to the tight control by the Government over the media, bookings by foreign advertisers often failed to appear. Beijing would allow more newspapers to double pages from eight to 16 to accommodate foreign advertisers' demands.

Another factor behind these changes, the HKCNA said, was to compensate for the loss of tobacco advertising.

Under the Advertising Law, local agencies cannot accept tobacco advertisements for print or electronic media in China and health warnings are required on all cigarette packets.

Adverts for anaesthetics, narcotics, toxic and radioactive drugs will also be banned. Prescription-drug advertisements will need to carry clear warnings. The law was drafted by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation.