SARFT Decree No. 61
Chapter I: General Principles
Article 1: In order to standardize radio and television advertising broadcasting order, stimulate the healthy development of the radio and television advertising sector, and guarantee citizens’ lawful rights and interest, according to laws and administrative regulations such as the “Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China”, the “Radio and Television Management Regulations”, etc., these Rules are formulated.
Article 2: These Rules apply to advertising broadcast activities of radio and television broadcasting organs such as radio stations, television stations (including radio and television stations), etc., (hereafter simply named “broadcasting organs”), as well as corresponding activities of radio and television transmission organs.
Article 3: Radio and television advertising as named in these Rules includes public interest advertising and commercial advertising (including information services, radio shopping and television shopping segment advertising, etc.)
Article 4: Radio and television advertising broadcast activities shall persist in taking people at the core, and abide by the principles of lawfulness, honesty, fairness and sincerity.
Article 5: Administrative radio, film and television entities conduct localized management and stratified responsibility over radio and television advertising broadcast activities.
The State Council administrative radio, film and television entity is responsible for radio and television advertising broadcast activity supervision and management work nationwide.
County-level and higher local People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entities are responsible for radio and television advertising broadcast supervision and management work in their administrative areas.
Article 6: Administrative radio, film and television entities encourage public-interest radio and television advertising production and broadcast, awards will be granted to groups and individuals with clear achievements.
Chapter II: Advertising content
Article 7: Radio and television advertising is an important component part of radio and television programmes, and shall persist in the correct orientation, establish a desirable cultural level and harmonize with the radio or television programme.
Article 8: Radio and television advertising is prohibited to contain the following content:
(1) content violating the basic principles determined in the Constitution;
(2) content endangering national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, endangering national security, or damaging State reputation or interest;
(3) content inciting ethnic hatred, ethnic discrimination, endangering ethnic customs and traditions, injuring ethnic feelings, destroying ethnic unity, violating religious policies;
(4) content disordering social order, destroying social stability;
(5) content propagating heresy, obscenity, gambling, violence, superstition, endangering public social morals or excellent ethnic cultural traditions;
(6) content insulting, discriminating or slandering others, violating others’ lawful rights and interests;
(7) content luring minors into committing harmful activities or generating harmful value systems, endangering their physical and mental health;
(8) content using absolutist language, cheating or misleading the public, intentionally using wrongly written characters or distorting proverbs;
(9) content in commercial advertising using or covertly using the People’s Republic of China’s flag, national emblem or anthem, using or covertly using the name, image, sound, famous remarks or calligraphy of national leaders or leading personalities, or the name or image of State organ personnel;
(10) content in advertising for medicines, medical appliances, treatments and health information propagating recovery rates and effectiveness, or using the image of doctors, experts, patients or persons from the public, etc., to testify on curative effect;
(11) other content prohibited by laws, administrative regulations and relevant State provisions.
Article 9: It is prohibited to broadcast the following radio and television advertising:
(1) advertising issued under the image of news reports;
(2) tobacco product advertising;
(3) prescription drug advertising;
(4) advertising for medicines, foodstuffs, medical appliances or treatments treating malignant tumours, liver disease, venereal disease or having an improving function;
(5) advertising for voice services such as name analysis, astrological analysis, fate appraisal, friend-making or chatting, etc.;
(6) advertising for milk products in which the language “breast milk substitute” appears;
(7) other advertising prohibited by laws, administrative regulations and relevant State provisions.
Article 10: Current affairs and news-type programmes (columns) may not carry the name of enterprises or products. Programmes such as special interview programmes with relevant persons, special enterprise reports, etc., may not contain content such as addresses, contact details, etc.
Article 11: Advertising having an investment nature such as investment consulting, financial management, franchising participation, etc., shall have warning content such as “investment carries risk”, etc.
Article 12: Except from advertising approved according to the law such as for benefit lottery tickets, sports lottery tickets, etc., other advertising having a gambling character may not be broadcast.
Chapter III: Advertising broadcasting
Article 13: Radio and television advertising broadcast shall be reasonably arranged. For commercial advertising, total quantities, balancing and disposition shall be controlled.
Article 14: Radio and television advertising broadcast may not influence the integrity of radio and television programmes. Except from the pauses between natural segments in programmes, advertising may not be inserted at liberty.
Article 15: Broadcasting organs may not broadcast commercial advertising in excess of 12 minutes per programme per hour. Therein, total broadcast of commercial advertising may not exceed 18 minutes on radio stations between 11:00 and 13:00 and television stations between 19:00 and 21:00.
Under special circumstances, such as conducting transmission or relay responsibilities, commercial advertising broadcast may be postponed.
Article 16: The duration that broadcasting organs broadcast public interest advertising may not be less than 3% of the commercial advertising duration per programme per day. Therein, the amount of public interest advertising broadcast may not be less than 4 items (times) on radio stations between 11:00 and 13:00 and television stations between 19:00 and 21:00.
Article 17: When broadcasting television dramas, it is permitted to insert commercial advertising two times per programme (calculated as 45 minutes), the duration of every time may not exceed 1 minute 30 seconds. Therein, in television dramas broadcast between 19:00 and 21:00, it is permitted to insert commercial advertising once per programme, the duration may not exceed one minute.
When broadcasting films, the time and quantity of inserted commercial advertising will be implemented with reference to the previous provision.
Article 18: For commercial advertising inserted into films or television dramas, a notice will be given as to the duration of the advertising.
Article 19: Apart from film or television drama theatres or programme (column) heading symbols, it is prohibited to broadcast corner advertising in any form.
Article 20: Film or television drama theatres or programme (column) heading symbols may not contain the following images:
(1) those only displaying enterprise or product names, or in which the name of the theatre or programme (column) is hard to distinguish;
(2) those rolling and changing, where the time that they are shown exceeds five minutes, or the space between the times they are shown is less than 10 minutes;
(4) where writing or images such as business service scope, project, function, contact methods, celebrities, etc., appear.
Article 21: Film or television drama theatres or programmes (columns) may not have medicines or medical appliances for diseases such as skin disease, epilepsy, haemorrhoids, athlete’s foot, gynaecology, reproductive and urinary systems.
Article 22: When transmitting or relaying radio and television programmes, the integrity of the transmitted or relayed programmes must be guaranteed. Advertising in transmitted or relayed programmes may not be replaced or covered over; self-organized advertising may not in any way, such as moving captions, overlapping captions, corner advertising, etc. be inserted.
Article 23:The content of advertising broadcast by foreign satellite television channels that have been approved for landing inside the borders, must conform to the laws and regulations of China and the provisions of these Rules.
Article 24: Broadcast of commercial advertising shall respect the life habits of the public. During the public’s mealtimes, from 6:30 until 7:30, 11:30 until 12:30 and 18:30 until 20:00, no advertising for medicines, medical appliances or treatments healing skin disease, haemorrhoids, athlete’s foot, gynaecology, reproductive and urinary systems, etc., and female hygiene products may be broadcast.
Article 25: Broadcast organs shall strictly control commercial advertising of alcoholic beverages, and may not broadcast them on channels and frequencies and in programmes (columns) mainly broadcast for minors. Radio stations may not broadcast in excess of 2 items of commercial advertising for strong alcoholic beverages per programme per hour; television stations may not broadcast in excess of 12 items of commercial advertising for strong alcoholic beverages per programme per day, and thereof may not broadcast in excess of 2 items between 19:00 and 21:00.
Article 26: During the holiday period of elementary and secondary schools and times when minors are a concentrated audience, or on channels or frequencies and in programmes (columns) mainly broadcast for minors, no commercial advertising may be broadcast that is not suited to minor audiences.
Article 27: When broadcasting commercial television advertising, the channel logo and frequency symbol may not be hidden.
Article 28: Advertisers and advertising businesses may not intervene or influence the correct broadcast of radio or television programmes through methods such as advertising input, etc.
Chapter IV: Supervision and management
Article 29: County-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entities shall strengthen supervision and management over radio and television advertising broadcast activities in their administrative areas, and establish and perfect supervision and management systems and technological methods.
Article 30: County-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entities shall establish public reporting mechanisms, announce reporting telephone lines, and timely investigate and deal with issues, and announce results.
Article 31: County-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entities shall, within five working days of making a punishment decision concerning unlawful radio and television advertising activities, report the punishment situation to the People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entity of one level higher for filing.
Article 32: Under special circumstances such as because of public interest requirements, etc., provincial, autonomous region and municipal-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entities may request broadcasting organs to broadcast designated public interest advertising on specified times, or make a decision of ceasing broadcast of commercial advertising.
Article 33: Broadcasting organs engaging in radio business activities shall obtain lawful qualifications, non-radio business entities may not engage in radio and television advertising business activities, journalists may not be contracted to do advertising work under the guise of interviews.
Article 34: Broadcasting organs shall establish advertising business, examination and broadcast management systems, responsible for conducting examination of broadcasted advertising.
Article 35: Broadcasting organs shall strengthen preservation and management of data materials such as advertising work contracting registration, examination and verification, etc.
Article 36: Commercial advertising for medicines, medical appliances, treatments, foodstuffs, cosmetics, agricultural chemicals, animal medicine, financial management, etc., must be approved by the relevant administrative entity, broadcast organs shall strictly examine and verify their documents and materials of approval according to the law before broadcast. Commercial advertising that has not been approved, of which the materials are incomplete or that has content different from that which was approved may not be broadcast.
Article 37: Where medial experts must be engaged to act as honoured guests for production and broadcast of medicine, medical appliance, treatment and health consulting-type advertising, broadcast organs shall check the honoured guest’s corresponding credentials, such as professional doctor’s licence, employment credentials, job title credentials, etc., and point them out during the advertising according to the facts, persons that do not have corresponding expert qualifications may not be engaged to act as honoured guest.
Article 39: Where advertising violates the provisions of these Rules because of advertisers or advertising business providing false credentials or documents, administrative radio, film and television entities may mitigate or exempt punishment of the relevant broadcast organ.
Article 39: The State Council administrative radio, film and television entity promotes the establishment of broadcast organ sector self-regulation organizations. These organizations may according to the provisions of their articles of association, adopt measures such as announcements to society, recommendations for and cancellation of the title “Radio and Television Advertising Broadcast Sector Self-Regulation Model Work Unit”, strengthen sector self-regulation.
Chapter V: Legal liabilities
Article 40: Those violating the provisions of Article 8 or Article 9 of these Rules, will be ordered by the county-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entity to cease the unlawful activity or to conduct rectification, be issued a warning, and a fine of 30.000 Yuan or less may additionally be imposed; where circumstances are grave, the original permit-issuing organ will cancel their “Radio and Television Channel Permit” or their “Radio and Television Broadcast Organ Permit”.
Article 41: Those violating the provisions of Article 15, Article 16 or Article 17 of these Rules, as well as those inserting advertising in violation of the provisions of Article 22 of these Rules, will be punished by the county-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entity according to the relevant provisions of Article 50 and Article 51 of the “Radio and Television Management Regulations”
Article 42: Those violating the provisions of Article 10, Article 12, Article 19, Article 20, Article 21, Article 24 through Article 28, Article 34, Article 36 or Article 37 of these Rules, or replaces or covers over advertising in violation of Article 22 of these Rules, will be ordered by the county-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entity to cease the unlawful activity or to conduct rectification, be issued a warning, and a fine of 20.000 Yuan or less may additionally be imposed.
Article 43: Broadcast organs violating the provisions of these Rules, will be punished by the county-level or higher People’s Government administrative radio, film and television entity according to relevant State regulations.
Article 44: Where administrative radio, film and television entity personnel abuse their powers, derelict their duty, engage in favouritism and committing irregularities, or do not implement their duties according to the provisions of these Rules, the responsible persons in charge and directly responsible personnel will be punished according to the law.
Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions
Article 45: These Rules take effect on 1 January 2010. The “Provisional Radio and Television Advertising Broadcast Management Rules” promulgated by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television on 15 September 2003 are abolished at the same time.
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