Recently the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC has been soliciting public opinion for the amendment of the Advertisement Law. The soliciting period lasted until end of March 2014. As part of the process, the public were invited to submit their comments on the official website. In the draft amendment the following points are of particular interest to both for advertisers and consumers.

Underage Protection
Advertisements for any kind of medical products or services, online games and alcohol are to be banned from any media aimed at teenagers in order to better protect young, impressionable minds. Furthermore, the draft amendment prohibits any advertising in primary and middle school campuses and kindergarten. Textbooks, uniforms and school buses are excluded from the ban list. At the same time, statements such as “guaranteed passing of test”, “certificate of qualification”, etc. will not be allowed in advertisements.

Validity of price in real estate advertisement
The advertisement of real estate shall expressly provide the valid term of period when it is related to the price of real estate property.

No advertising without consent
Without consent or requirement of the interested party/consumer, or after being refused expressly by the concerned person, no natural person and organization shall send advertising messages via telephone, email, etc.

Joint liability for deceptive representation
The draft amendment demands that a person recommending a product, typically famous stars, may not make advertisement for a product which they have not bought and used themselves. If they intentionally do advertising with knowledge of falsehood and deceptiveness of the advertised products, they shall take joint liability with the seller.

The new Advertisement Law will be promulgated after the soliciting period. The adoption of the aforementioned amendments is almost certain. Since advertising is a key factor in doing business, for the purpose of preventing potential risks, especially at the moment of the adaption of the new law, foreign companies in China are advised to pay special attention while adopting a new advertising strategy and consult professionals for further advice if necessary.

This article is intended solely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Although the information in this article was obtained from reliable official sources, no guarantee is made with regard to its accuracy and completeness.