China warns media about "vulgar" ads
BEIJING (Reuters) - China warned its already tightly controlled media on Wednesday that the government would not tolerate "obscene, sexual, superstitious or base" advertisements over the Olympic period which may embarrass the country. "Advertising companies have a responsibility to society for propaganda and showing the country's image. Order in the Olympic advertising market directly connects to the national image," the government said in a statement on its website (www.gov.cn).
Banned advertisements included those for products which claim to increase sexual potency of the performance of sexual organs, and for cigarettes, it added.
Instead, advertisers should concentrate on the Beijing Olympics' main themes, such as the "green Olympics" and the "cultured Olympics", the statement said.
Special care should be paid to advertisements which have any religious content, refer to rebuilding after May's devastating Sichuan earthquake and anything to do with "sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security", it added.
Those found violating the rules will be "dealt with in accordance with the law", state the rules, issued jointly by six government departments, including the central propaganda department.
China has been waging an ongoing campaign against what it sees as vulgar commercials on television and in the press, as well as those for products which make outrageous claims.
Advertisements for health foods and tonics are particularly popular, often claiming to contain special medical herbs which can help with everything from baldness and impotence to lack of concentration.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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