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  Advertisement Law of the People's Republic of China

 

(Adopted at the Tenth Session of the Standing Committee of

  the Eighth National People's Congress on October 27, 1994, and entered into force as of February 1, 1995.) 

  Contents

  Chapter I   General Provisions

  Chapter II  Requirements of Advertising

  Chapter III  Advertising Activities

  Chapter IV  Advertisement Examination

  Chapter V  Legal Responsibility

  Chapter VI  Supplementary Provisions

                    

  Chapter I General Provisions

  Article 1

    This law is formulated in order to regulate advertising activities, promote the healthy

  development of the advertising sector, protect the lawful rights and interests of consumers,

  maintain the social and economic order, and let advertisements play an active role in socialist

  market economy.

  Article 2

    Advertisers, advertising operators and advertisement publishers, when engaging in advertising

  activities within the territory of the People's Republic of China, shall abide by this law.

  "Advertisement" as the term is used in this Law refers to any commercial advertisement, which

  a commodity operator or service provider pays for, through certain media or forms, directly or

  indirectly introducing their commodities being sold or services being provided.

  "Advertiser" as the term is used in this Law refers to any legal person, other economic

  organization or individual, who, with the purpose of promoting the sales of commodities or

  providing services, is to design, produce and publish advertisements by itself or through

  commissioning others.

  "Advertising operator" as the term is used in this Law refers to any legal person, other

  economic organization or individual, who is commissioned to provide advertisement designing,

  producing and agent services.

  "Advertisement publisher" as the term is used in this Law refers to any legal person or other

  economic organization which publishes advertisements for advertisers or advertising operators

  commissioned by advertisers.

  Article 3

    An advertisement shall be true to facts, lawful, and in compliance with the requirements of

  raising socialist cultural and ideological progress.

  Article 4

    An advertisement may not contain any false and deceiving information, and may not cheat or

  misguide consumers.

   

    

  Article 5

    Advertisers, advertising operators and advertisement publishers shall, when engaging in

  advertising activities, abide by laws and administrative regulations and adhere to the principles

  of fairness and trustworthiness.

  Article 6

    The administration for industry and commerce of the people's governments at or above the

  county level are advertising supervision and control organs.

   Chapter II Requirements of Advertising

  Article 7

    The contents of advertisements shall be conducive to the physical and mental health of the

  people, promote the improvement in quality of commodity and service, protect the lawful rights

  and interests of consumers, be in compliance with social morality and professional ethics, and

  safeguard the dignity and interests of the state.

  Advertisements may not contain any of the following circumstances:

    1. using the national flag, national emblem and national anthem of the People's Republic of

  China;

    2. using the names of state organs or names of staff of state organs;

    3. using such words as the state-level, the highest-level or the best;

    4. hindering social stability or endangering the safety of life or property, or harming the

  social public interests;

    5. hindering the social public order or violating the good social customs;

    6. carrying any pornographic, superstitious, horrible, violent or ugly information;

    7. carrying any nationality, racial, religious or sex discriminating information;

    8. hindering environmental and natural resources protection; and

    9. other circumstances that are prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

  Article 8

    Advertisements may not impair the physical and mental health of the minors and the disabled.

  Article 9

    Statements in advertisements on commodity's performance, origin of production, use, quality,

  price, producer and manufacturer, valid term, and promise, and service's items, manner, quality,

  price and promise shall be clear and explicit.

  An advertisement, in which gifts are indicated to be presented in promoting the sales of

  commodities or providing services, shall state the type and quantity of gifts as compliments.

  Article 10

    Data, statistical information, investigation and survey findings, digest and quotes used in

  an advertisement shall be true to facts and accurate, and their sources shall be indicated.

  Article 11

    An advertisement involving patented products or patent methods shall clearly indicate the

  patent number and the type of patent.

  The unpatented may not pretend to be patented in advertisements.

  The use of ungranted patent applications or terminated, nullified or invalid patents to

  advertise is prohibited.

  Article 12

    An advertisement may not belittle the commodities or services of other producers and

  manufacturers or operators.

  Article 13

    An advertisement shall be distinguishable, and enable consumers to identify it is an

  advertisement.

  The mass media may not publish advertisements in the form of news report. Advertisements

  published through the mass media shall bear advertisement marks to differentiate them from other

  nonadvertisement information and may not lead to the misunderstanding of consumers.

  

  Article 14

    Advertisements for pharmaceuticals, medical apparatus and instruments may not contain the

  following contents:

    1. unscientific affirmations, statements or promises on efficacy;

    2. indication of the cure rate or efficacious rate;

    3. comparison of efficacy and safeness with other medicines, medical apparatus and instruments;

    4. use of the name or image of medical research unit, academic organization, medical unit or

  expert, doctor or patient as proofs; and

    5. other contents that are prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

  Article 15

    The contents of advertisements for pharmaceuticals must take as the standards the

  instructions approved by the public health administrative department under the State Council or

  public health administrative departments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities

  directly under the Central Government.

  Advertisements for therapeutic pharmaceuticals which, as provided by the state, shall be used

  under physician's advice must be marked "purchase and use on physician's prescription".

  Article 16

    Special pharmaceuticals such as anaesthetic, narcotic, psychotropic, toxic and radioactive

  drugs may not appear in advertisements.

  Article 17

    Advertisements for agricultural chemicals may not contain the following contents:

    1. absolute affirmations indicating its safeness such as non-toxic or non-harm;

    2. unscientific affirmations or promises indicating its effectiveness;

    3. words, languages or pictures that violate the safe use regulations of agricultural chemicals;

  and

    4. other contents that are prohibited by laws and administrative regulations.

  Article 18

    Publishing of advertisements for tobacco by means of radio, cinema pictures, television,

  newspaper, magazine or periodical is prohibited.

  Erecting or placing advertisements for tobacco at public places such as various waiting

  rooms, cinemas and theatres, conference halls and sports stadiums and gymnasiums is prohibited.

  Advertisements for tobacco must be marked with "smoking is harmful to your health".

  Article 19

    The contents of advertisements for foods, alcohol drinks or cosmetics must comply with

  matters and items of hygiene license, and may not use medical jargons or words which are easily

  to be mixed up with pharmaceuticals.

  Chapter III Advertising Activities

  Article 20

    Advertisers, advertising operators and advertisement publishers shall sign written contracts

  according to law in their advertising activities, stipulating explicitly each party's rights and

  obligations.

  Article 21

    No advertiser, advertising operator or advertisement publisher may engage in unfair

  competition of any form in their advertising activities.

  Article 22

    An advertiser, in designing, producing or publishing advertisements either by itself or

  through committing others to promote the sales of commodities or to provide services shall comply

  with its business scope.

  Article 23

    An advertiser shall, in commissioning to design, produce and publish advertisements,

  commission an advertising operator or advertisement publisher with legal business status.

   

  Article 24

    An advertiser shall, in designing, producing and publishing advertisements either by itself

  or through commissioning others, has or provide true, lawful and valid documentation as follows:

    1. business license and other papers and documents proving production and operation

  qualification;

    2. documents and papers issued by quality certification organs for the content of commodity

  quality to be advertised;

    3. other documents and papers to confirm the truthfulness of the content of advertisement.

  Where, pursuant to the provisions of Article 34 of this Law, publishing of an advertisement

  is subject to examination by relevant administrative departments, relevant documents and papers

  of approval shall also be provided.

  Article 25

    Any advertiser or advertising operator shall, if using the names or images of others in

  advertising, obtain in advance the written consent of others; and if using the names or images of

  persons with incapacity for civil actions or with limited capacity for civil actions, obtain in

  advance the written consent from their guardians.

  Article 26

    Those engaging in the advertising business shall have the required professional and technical

  personnel and production equipment, and undergo company or advertising business registration in

  accordance with law, before they may engage themselves in advertising activities.

  The advertising business of radio stations, television stations, newspaper or magazine and

  periodical publishing units shall be handled by their own departments specializing in advertising

  business, and registration for concurrent advertising business shall be made according to law.

  Article 27

    Advertising operators and advertisement publishers are to check relevant documentation and to

  examine and verify the contents of advertisements in accordance with laws and administrative

  regulations. With respect to an advertisement with untrue content or without the required

  complete documentation, any advertising operator may not provide services on designing, producing

  and serving as agent and any advertisement publisher may not publish such advertisement.

  Article 28

    Advertising operators and advertisement publishers, according to relevant state regulations,

  are to establish and perfect the system on acceptance registration, examination and verification,

  and record management of their advertisement businesses.

  Article 29

    Advertising charges shall be reasonable and open to the public, the charging standards and

  measures shall be registered with the administrative departments in charge of price and industry

  and commerce for record.

  Advertising operators and advertisement publishers shall make public their charging standards

  and measures.

  Article 30

    Advertisement publishers shall provide true information on media coverage, audience rate and

  circulation to advertisers and advertising operators.

  Article 31

    With respect to those commodities or services prohibited by laws and administrative

  regulations to be produced and manufactured, marketed or provided, and with respect to the

  commodities or services prohibited to be advertised, advertisements may not be designed, produced

  and published.

  Article 32

    No outdoor advertisement may be erected or placed under any of the following circumstances:

    1. using traffic safety facilities or traffic signs and marks;

    2. affecting or interrupting the use of public utility facilities, traffic safety facilities or

  traffic signs and marks;

    3. hindering the production or people's living or damaging the appearance or environment of

  cities;

    4. within the construction control areas of state organs, cultural relics protection units or

  scenic sites; and

    5. within the areas prohibited to erect or place outdoor advertisements by the people's

  governments at or above the county level.

   

  Article 33

    The people's governments at or above the county level are, by organizing relevant departments

  such as advertising supervision and control, urban construction, environmental protection and

  public security, to work out planning and measures for the control of erecting and placing

  outdoor advertisements.

  Chapter IV Advertisement Examination

  Article 34

    With respect to advertisements for such commodities as pharmaceuticals, medical apparatus and

  instruments, agricultural chemicals or veterinary drugs, which are published by means of radio,

  cinema pictures, television, newspaper, magazine, periodical and other media, and other

  advertisements which, as provided by laws and administrative regulations, shall be subject to

  examination, the relevant administrative departments (hereinafter referred to as the

  advertisement examination organ) must examine and inspect, prior to their issuance, the contents

  of the advertisements in accordance with the relevant laws and administrative regulations; any

  such advertisement which is not examined and approved may not be published.

  Article 35

    An advertiser shall, when applying for advertisement examination, submit relevant

  documentation to the advertisement examination organ according to laws and administrative

  regulations. The advertisement examination organ shall, pursuant to laws and administrative

  regulations, make an examination decision.

  Article 36

    No unit or individual may counterfeit, alter and transfer the document of advertisement

  examination decision.

  Chapter V Legal Responsibility

  Article 37

    Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, false and deceiving publicity on commodity

  or service is made by using an advertisement, the advertising supervision and control organ shall

  order the advertiser to stop publishing the advertisement and to use the same amount of its

  advertising expenses to make open correction and to clear up influence within the same area, and

  impose the advertiser a fine of more than the amount of its advertising charges and less than

  five times the amount of its advertising charges; confiscate the advertising charges of the

  advertising operator responsible and advertisement publisher responsible and impose them a line

  of more than the amount of the advertising charges and less than five times the amount of the

  advertising charges; and if the case is serious, prevent them, according to law, from the

  advertising businesses. Where the act constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be

  investigated according to law.

  Article 38

    Where, in violation of the provisions of this Law, publishing of a false and deceiving

  advertisement cheats and misguides consumers, and thus causes infringement and damage to the

  lawful rights and interests of consumers who buy the commodity or accept the service, the

  advertiser shall bear civil responsibility according to law, the advertising operator and

  advertisement publisher, who know or are to know that the advertisement is untrue to facts but

  continue to design, produce and publish it, shall bear joint responsibility according to law.

  The advertising operator or advertisement publisher, who fails to provide the real name and

  address of the advertiser, shall bear complete civil responsibility.

  A social organization or other organizations, which recommends commodity or service to

  consumers in a false and deceiving advertisement and consequently causes infringement and damage

  to the lawful rights and interests of consumers, shall bear joint responsibility.

  Article 39

    Where publishing of an advertisement violates the provisions of Article 7, Paragraph 2 of

  this Law, the advertising supervision and control organ shall order the advertiser, advertising

  operator and advertisement publisher, which are responsible to the advertisement, to stop

  publishing the advertisement and to make open corrections, confiscate their advertising charges,

  and impose a fine of more than the amount of the advertising charges and less than five times the

  amount of the advertising charges; and if the case is serious, prevent them, according to law,

  from the advertising businesses. Where the act constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall

  be investigated according to law.

  Article 40

    Where publishing of an advertisement violates the provisions of Article 9 to Article 12 of

  this Law, the advertising supervision and control organ shall order the advertiser, advertising

  operator and advertisement publisher, which are responsible to the advertisement, to stop

  publishing the advertisement and to make open corrections, confiscate their advertising charges,

  and may impose a fine of more than the amount of the advertising charges and less than five times

  the amount of the advertising charges.

  Where publishing of an advertisement violates the provisions of Article 13 of this Law, the

  advertising supervision and control organ shall order the advertisement publisher to make

  correction, and impose a fine of more than 1,000 yuan and less than 10,000 yuan.

   

  Article 41

    Where, in violation of the provisions of Article 14 to Article 17 and Article 19 of this Law,

  an advertisement for pharmaceuticals, medical apparatus and instruments, agricultural chemicals,

  foods, alcoholic drinks or cosmetics is published, or, in violation of the provisions of Article

  31 of this Law, an advertisement is published, the advertising supervision and control organ

  shall order the advertiser, advertising operator and advertisement publisher, which are

  responsible to the advertisement, to make corrections or to stop publishing the advertisement,

  confiscate their advertising charges, and may also impose a fine of more than the amount of the

  advertising charges and less than five times the amount of the advertising charges; and if the

  case is serious, prevent them, according to law, from the advertising businesses.

  Article 42

    Where, in violation of the provisions of Article 18 of this Law, an advertisement for tobacco

  is published by means of radio, cinema pictures, television, newspaper, magazine or periodical,

  or an advertisement for tobacco is erected and placed in the public places and sites, the

  advertising supervision and control organ shall order the advertiser, advertising operator and

  advertisement publisher, which are responsible to the advertisement, to stop publishing the

  advertisement, confiscate their advertising charges, and may impose a fine of more than the

  amount of the advertising charges and less than five times the amount of the advertising charges.

  Article 43

    Where, in violation of the provisions of Article 34 of this Law, publishing of an

  advertisement without examination and approval from the advertisement examination organ, the

  advertising supervision and control organ shall order the advertiser, advertising operator and

  advertisement publisher, which are responsible to the advertisement, to stop publishing the

  advertisement, confiscate their advertising charges, and impose a fine of more than the amount of

  the advertising charges and less than five times the amount of the advertising charges.

  Article 44

    Where an advertiser furnishes false and deceiving documentation, the advertising supervision

  and control organ shall impose a fine of more than 10,000 yuan and less than 100,000 yuan.

  Where anyone counterfeits, alters or transfers documents of an advertisement examination

  decision, the advertising supervision and control organ shall confiscate its illegal gains and

  impose a fine of more than 10,000 yuan and less than 100,000 yuan. Where the act constitutes a

  crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

  Article 45

    Where an advertisement examination organ has made an examination and approval decision for

  illegal content of an advertisement, the person directly in charge and other persons directly

  responsible shall be subject to administrative penalties imposed by their units, superior organs

  or administrative supervisory departments according to law.

  Article 46

    Any person of an advertising supervision and control organ or advertisement examination

  organ, who neglects his or her duty, abuses his or her power of office or practises favoritism or

  other irregularities, shall be subject to administrative penalties. Where his or her act

  constitutes a crime, criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to law.

  Article 47

    An advertiser, advertising operator or advertisement publisher, who, in violation of the

  provisions of this Law, commits any of the following right-infringing acts, shall bear civil

  responsibility according to law.

    1. impairing in advertising the physical and mental health of the minors or the disabled;

    2. palming off as a patent of others;

    3. belittling commodities or services of other producers and manufacturers or operators;

    4. using the names and images of others without consent in advertising; or

    5. other infringements of the lawful civil rights and interests of others.

  

  Article 48

    A party concerned which disagrees with an administrative penalty decision may, within fifteen

  days from the date of receiving notice of the penalty decision, apply for a reconsideration to

  the next higher organ of the organ which makes the administrative penalty decision; the party

  may, within fifteen days from the date of receiving notice of the penalty decision, also directly

  file a suit in a people's court.

  The reconsideration organ shall, within sixty days from the date of receiving the application

  for reconsideration, make a reconsideration decision. A party concerned which disagrees with the

  reconsideration decision may, within fifteen days from the date of receiving the reconsideration

  decision, file a suit in a people's court. lf the reconsideration organ fails to make a

  reconsideration decision within the time limit for reconsideration, the party concerned may,

  within fifteen days from the expiration of the reconsideration, file a suit in a people's court.

  In the event of a party concerned failing both to apply for a reconsideration or to file a

  suit in a people's court within the time limit, and to comply with a penalty decision, the organ

  which makes the penalty decision may apply to a people's court for enforcement.

  Chapter VI Supplementary Provisions

  Article 49

    This Law shall come into force as of February 1, 1995. lf any content related to advertising

  in other laws and regulations formulated prior to the implementation of this Law is inconsistent

  with this Law, this Law shall prevail.

  

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