By Michael Evans
The ban-happy State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) rolled out its latest prohibition this week, forbidding TV ads for luxury gifts just in time for the year’s top gift- (and bribe-) giving season, the Spring Festival.
As the Financial Times reports:
“Some television and radio stations have broadcast advertisements with ‘gift giving’ slogans such as ‘premium gift choice,’ ‘a gift for leaders’ and ‘giving honor to your superiors,’ and the ads have been for a wide range of products including famous watches, rare stamps and commemorative gold and silver coins,” it said in a statement published on its Web site Wednesday.
“These ads transmit an incorrect value system and can easily foster a harmful social atmosphere,” it added.
Despite its stern tone, the SARFT ruling, like many before it, was light on details, leaving some to question how strictly the new rules would be enforced, or how much of an effect they would have on the gold-encrusted, baijiu-flavored commercials that are a staple of Chinese TV watching.