Guiding Opinions on Further Regulating Celebrity Advertising Endorsement Activities

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Promulgation Date: 2022-10-31
Title: Guiding Opinions on Further Regulating Celebrity Advertising Endorsement Activities
Document Number:
Expiration date: 
Promulgating Entities:国家市场监督管理总局 文化和旅游部 国家电影局等
Source of text: https://www.samr.gov.cn/ggjgs/tzgg/202210/t20221031_351169.html

To the market regulation bureau (office, commission), internet information office, culture and tourism office (bureau), radio and television bureau (culture, sport, radio, and tourism bureau), banking and insurance regulatory bureau, securities regulatory bureau, and departments in charge of film, of each province, autonomous region, and directly governed municipality, and of the Xinjiang Production an Construction Corps:

In recent years, some well-known artists, entertainers, and internet sensations (hereinafter collectively "celebrities") have made illegal or false endorsements or even publicized erroneous concepts in endorsement activities; in seeking traffic above all else, some enterprises have selected celebrities who have violated laws and morals for product endorsements; some media control has been lax, allowing celebrities who have violated laws and morals to participate in advertising endorsement activities. This disorder in the advertising endorsement sector violates consumers' rights and interests, disturbs market order, and pollutes the social environment, and public feedback has been intense. The following opinions on further regulating celebrity advertising endorsement activities are hereby put forward on the basis of the PRC Advertising Law and other laws and regulations in order to maintain the correct orientation in advertising and publicity, to clean up the industry atmosphere, to create a positive social environment, and ensure consumers' lawful rights and interests,

I. General Requirements

With Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as guidance and adherence to the Core Socialist Values leading the path, persisting in problem-orientation, addressing problems and their causes, and being proactive and prudent, to enhance industry management, strengthen oversight and inspections, make credit regulation more strict, advocate societal joint governance, and do a good job of publicity and guidance, to truly clear up the disorder in all stages and areas of celebrity advertising endorsements, regulating the conduct of celebrities, enterprises, and media, and forcefully preserving market order and creating a clear and positive atmosphere in the advertising sector.

II. Regulate Acts of Celebrity Advertising Endorsements

Each relevant department should further clarify rules of conduct for celebrity advertising endorsements, increase guidance and regulation of advertising, and strengthen celebrities' self-restraint, to regulate acts of celebrity advertising endorsements.

(1) Adhere to the correct orientation. During advertising endorsement activities, celebrities shall conscientiously practice the Core Socialist Values, and the endorsement activities shall comply with social mores and traditional values. Speech harming national dignity or interests must not be published; words and deeds impeding national tranquility and public social order must not be carried out; content such as obscenity, sex, gambling, superstition, terror, and violence must not be propagated; discrimination based on ethnicity, race, religion, or sex must not be propagated; private matters must not be sensationalized; erroneous concepts and irregular aesthetics such as wasteful extravagance, money worship, and the primacy of entertainment must not be propagated; advertising endorsements must not be made by portraying the images of Party and state leaders, revolutionary leaders, heroes, and models, or images similar to them (where advertising endorsement is conducted by portraying the image of other film or television characters, the authorization and permission of the copyright holder shall be obtained); and other speech and concepts contrary to positive customs must not be propogated.

(2) Do a good job of ex-ante controls. Before celebrities make advertising endorsements of goods or services (hereinafter collectively 'goods') they shall understand the enterprise and goods that are being endorsed, read the endorsed enterprises' registration information, qualifications and approvals, credit records, the instructions (service process) for the endorsed goods, as well as information such as contract provisions and transaction terms involving consumer's rights and obligations, and review the advertising script. Celebrities shall make proper records of their learning about the endorsed enterprises ' information and their experience and usage of the goods, store materials such as the related endorsement contracts and receipts from buying the goods, and establish an archive of their taking on the endorsement.

(3) Make endorsements lawfully and in good faith. Celebrities shall strictly comply with relevant laws and regulations so that advertising endorsement activities are carried out in accordance with laws and regulations, and in good faith. Advertising endorsements must not be made for products that the law prohibits the production or sale of (including prohibited services); recommendations and testimonials must not be made for goods one hasn't used (or services one has not received); advertising testimonials must not be made for unlicensed market entities or other enterprises that should be approved and credentialed but have not been; advertising endorsements must not be made for tobacco and tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), off-campus training, medical care, pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, health foods, and special food supplements for medicinal use; and other laws and regulations related to advertising and publicity must not be violated. State secrets and personal privacy must not be leaked in the course of advertising endorsements; the efficacy of goods must not be exaggerated; data that cannot be verified must not be cited; commercial defamation must not be carried out against other businesses; publicity must not mislead about product prices; For asset management products, publicity and promises guaranteeing capital preservation or returns must not be made either directly or indirectly, nor may capital preservation, the absence of risk, or guaranteed returns be implied through means such as investment performance predictions; and consumers must not be misled by publicity on financial lending products by solely advertising low thresholds, low interest, or easy lending.

III. Regulating Enterprises' Selection of Celebrities To Carry out Advertising Activities

Each relevant department should strengthen oversight and management of enterprises, locking in entity responsibility, and regulating enterprises' advertising endorsement activities.

(1) Ensure the truth of advertising content. Enterprises selecting celebrities for advertising endorsements shall provide the related scripts to the celebrity and take responsibility for the truth and lawfulness of the advertising content. Advertisements for financial products shall proactively and fully disclose product information and risk alerts and strictly comply with the rules of departments for the administration of the finance industry on the sale of financial products. Where the relevant goods are related to consumers' health or safety, the enterprises should actively alert potential advertising spokespersons of the risks of endorsement. Goods that enterprises provide to celebrity spokespersons to experience and use shall be consistent in quality, price, transaction terms, and service level to that provided to consumers.

(2) Properly select celebrity endorsements. Before enterprises select celebrity spokespersons, they shall fully learn about the celebrity's professional situation and personal credit, emphasizing the unification of social and economic effects, and consciously rejecting the use of celebrities who have violated laws and morals. Strictly comply with advertising laws and regulations, celebrities who have received an administrative punishment within the last three years for endorsements in a false advertisement must not be used as advertising spokespersons.

(3) Strictly comply with prohibitions. Enterprises must not select minors under the age of 10 as advertising spokespersons, and where laws and regulations on the protection of minors and provisions on livestream sales have other provisions on age restrictions for spokespersons, follow those provisions. Enterprises engaged in industries such as medical care, pharmaceuticals, medical instruments, and health foods must not use advertising spokespersons in their advertisements and publicity. Advertisements for extra-curricular training for primary and secondary students (including kindergarten) must not be published, and enterprises engaged in other educational or training industries must not use professionals or beneficiaries to carry out advertising endorsement activities. Enterprises engaged in the pesticide veterinary medicine, feed, feed additive, crop seed, lumber seed, grass seed, livestock, poultry, aquatic fingerlings, and breeding industries must not use professionals to engage in advertisement endorsement activities.

IV. Strictly Manage the Publication of Celebrity Endorsement Advertisements

All relevant departments should strengthen oversight and management fo units publishing advertisements, urging them to strengthen reviews of advertisements and content management, and resolutely curbing the advertisement endorsing conduct of celebrities who have violated laws or morals.

(1) Strict internal reviews. Advertisement publishing operations units such as newspapers, periodicals, television, movies, and the internet should lawfully and appropriately create and store archives of advertisement publications, establish and complete content review systems for advertisement publication, expand the force of content review for celebrity endorsement content, resolutely correct negative advertising information such as that which goes against the correct orientation, uses sensitive topics to create a buzz, or is coarse and vulgar, and are to promptly stop the publication of celebrity endorsement advertising that violates laws or morals.

(2) Strengthen program (piece) and live broadcast management. All types of media unit should strictly implement systems for program (column) management, strengthen livestream management in accordance with laws and regulations, and prohibit celebrities who have violated laws or morals from indirectly carrying out advertising endorsement activities through means such as participating in talk shows, variety shows, and live streams.

V. Precision Law Enforcement and Strict Oversight

(1) Correctly identify celebrity endorsement conduct in advertising. Except where celebrities make advertisements as the advertiser, marketing goods that they produce or sell themselves, celebrities making recommendations or testimonials about goods or services through means such as appearances and presentation, speech, text, or movement in commercial advertisements, shall be identified as acts of advertising endorsement in accordance with law. Where radio advertisements do not have the celebrities image appear, but express the celebrity's name and market the goods in their name, it shall be identified as the celebrity conducting an advertising endorsement. Where celebrities market goods in advertisements acting as a film or television character, it shall be identified as the celebrity themself conducting an advertising endorsement. Where celebrities market goods during entertainment programs, talk shows, online livestreams through recommendations or testimonials, it constitutes an act of advertising endorsement. Where celebrities falsely use or usurp a celebrity's name or image to conduct advertising publicity, it is not an act of advertising endorsement.

(2) Correctly identify situations of selecting celebrities who have broken the laws or gone against morality for advertising endorsements. Where enterprises know or should know that a celebrity has expressed incorrect political speech or other speech contrary to the Core Socialist Values, causing a negative social impact, and still selects that celebrity to conduct advertising endorsements, then, based on the circumstance, the relevant advertisement is to be found to impede societal tranquility and impede public social order. Where enterprises know or should know that a celebrity has expressed incorrect political speech or other speech contrary to the Core Socialist Values, causing a negative social impact, and still selects that celebrity to conduct advertising endorsements, then, based on the circumstance, the relevant advertisement shall be found to impede societal tranquility and impede public social order.

(3) Correctly understand celebrity spokespersons' obligation to use the commercial products they endorse. Celebrities shall personally and fully use products they endorse, ensuring that the period of use or number of uses is sufficient to create a normal consumer experience; Pro-forma purchasing or using of the endorsed goods should not be found to satisfy the spokespersons' obligation to use the goods in accordance with law. Where celebrities endorse goods for use by infants or the other sex, the celebrity's family members shall fully and reasonably use the goods. During the period of celebrity endorsement, they shall continue to use the endorsed goods at a reasonable rate or for a reasonable number of times. For goods that have a higher rate of generation overturn such as electronics and cars, celebrities who have only used a single generation of the brand's goods must not endorse other generations of the brand's goods. Where celebrities conduct advertising endorsements for an enterprise or brand's overall image as 'experience directors" "recommenders", image ambassadors' or other titles, the name of the enterprise or brand's goods that the celebrity used shall be indicated or explained in the advertisement.

(4) Pursue the responsibility of all sides for illegal conduct in advertising endorsements. Relevant departments should strengthen regulation of all links in advertising endorsement activities, strictly investigating and handling false and illegal advertisements with celebrity endorsements, and lawfully pursuing the legal responsibility of advertisers, Advertising agents, advertisement publishers, and advertising spokespersons, as well as relevant internet information service providers. Where celebrities make false or illegal endorsements, the celebrity themselves should be resolutely punished in accordance with law, and punishment of the celebrity's management company must not be used in place of punishing the celebrity. Where the celebrity's management company participated in the advertising endorsement activities, they are to bear legal responsibility as Advertising agents. Where the circumstances of a celebrity's false or illegal endorsement are heinous, openness and exposure should be increased, entering into their personal creditworthiness record in accordance with laws and regulations, and strengthening joint disciplinary action for untrustworthiness. After celebrities make false or illegal endorsements, they promptly and proactively take responsibility for giving civil compensation to consumers, punishment may be lighter or reduced in accordance with law.

VI. Strengthen Organizational Leadership

(1) Improve political standing. Relevant departments should further increase their political assessment, political savvy, and political enforcement abilities, truly increasing the extent of regulation of celebrity advertising endorsement conduct from the hights point of the people-centered concept of development and advancing the establishment of a spiritual civilization, making it so that that accountability and responsibility for protecting the land are fully discharged, so that the disorder in celebrity advertising endorsements is cured at the cause, good social customs are preserved, and the people's sense of gain is enhanced.

(2) Strengthen cooperation between departments. Give full play to the functions of the joint conference on correcting false and illegal advertising, increasing the strength of concerted meetings [with offenders], law enforcement, exposure, and disciplinary action, giving play to collaborative regulatory functions, and increasing regulatory efficacy. The comprehensive governance work mechanisms for the entertainment sector should be fully relied upon in strengthening the combined force of education and guidance, industry management, ex post and ongoing regulation, and celebrity self-restraint, to establish a coordinated and cooperative work structure that spans sectors and departments. Strengthen communication with departments such as for public security and tax administration, and where violations or crimes such as those involving tax evasion are discovered during efforts to regulate celebrity advertising endorsements, promptly transfer them for handling to the relevant departments.

(3) Strengthen multilateral joint governance. The relevant departments should strengthen education, guidance, and management of celebrities and other relevant groups, increase the extent of guidance for the management bodies of arts groups and online performers to support those management bodies in strengthening the management of the celebrities in that units' participation in celebrity advertising endorsement activities, and explore conducting filing and management of celebrity advertising endorsement contracts and related scripts. Strengthen regulation of financial institutions and financial marketing activities, guiding and regulating financial institutions' selection of celebrities to carry out celebrity advertising endorsements. Support relevant mass organizations and industry associations in giving play to functions of education, guidance, and self-discipline, encourage relevant industry ethics committees to carry out ethics deliberation and appraisal activities on celebrity advertising endorsements and other such activities in accordance with laws and regulations, giving play to the function of ethics restraints and discipline. Urge celebrities, enterprises, and the media to carry out self-inspections and make corrections, to truly take primary responsibility for preserving market order.

 

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