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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 September, 2003, 19:20 GMT 20:20 UK
China bans 'disgusting' TV ads
Kitchen in China
The "inappropriate" adverts are being banned during mealtimes
China's television stations have been told they can no longer show commercials for feminine hygiene products, haemorrhoid ointments and other such items during mealtimes.

The restrictions are part of a new regime of controls announced by the state broadcasting authority, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

"Television and radio broadcasters' advertisements should respect the customs of the masses... and are not allowed to air commercials likely to disgust audiences," the Beijing Times said.

Thomas Mok, from the advertising agency McKann Erikson, conceded that some adverts shown in China were "very disgusting".

"You can imagine that over the meal hour, these graphics can be quite disturbing," he told the BBC's East Asia Today programme.

Unrealistic claims

Mr Mok said that the country's authorities needed to issue controls on advertising in order to regulate those companies who made irresponsible commercials.

Some advertisements, he said, promised unrealistic cures.

"For many people, they really take it seriously. They really believe it," he said.

The Chinese Government is not alone in its distaste of certain adverts.

In July, Vietnam's cultural police banned campaigns promoting condoms and toilet paper from being shown at mealtimes.

Thomas Mok, McKann Erikson advertising agency
"You can imagine that over the meal hour, these graphics can be quite disturbing"

Vietnam cleans up TV dinners
16 Jul 03  |  Asia-Pacific
China's dining delights
14 Jun 03  |  From Our Own Correspondent


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