China issues list of taboo ads

Media watchdogs crusade for social morality

Commercials featuring scantily dressed women or sexually suggestive language or ads for underwear or breast enhancements are the latest to fall afoul of China’s morality police, as the media watchdog issues a new list of taboo subjects in its moral crusade.

“Sexually suggestive ads not only mislead consumers seriously and harm public health but are socially corrupting, morally depraving and directly discredit the radio and TV industry,” ran a circular from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft).

Move is the latest in a series of antivulgarity measures leading up to the 17th Communist Party Congress next month in Beijing. The party is keen to show it is an able defender of social morality.

The ban includes commercials and programs involving drugs, sex-related health supplements, drugs for sexually transmitted diseases and sex toys.

A total of 1,466 ads worth $267 million have been removed since August, Sarft data shows. The crackdown has seriously restricted “American Idol”-style skeins such as “My Hero” and “Super Girl.”

In August, the regulator banned the broadcast of “Red Question Mark,” a skein showing crimes committed by women, saying it was “vulgar.”

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