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China issues new TV regulations

Restrictions ban ads, curb airtime

China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has issued a raft of new regulations aimed at curbing the amount of airtime given over to commercials and also banning ads for a number of products.

The regulations, which come into effect on Jan. 1 set maximum advertising allotments per hour during both on- and off-peak times, require a minimum number of public service announcements during peak periods and outline the maximum of ad breaks during TV series scheduling.

Under the new rules, no commercial can be longer than 90 seconds during any TV show, while the overall length of ad breaks will be limited to 12 minutes for each one-hour skein, local media reported.

The regulation also forbids ads for certain products, including tobacco products, prescription medication, match-making services and fortune-telling. There will also be a ban on milk commercials advocating breast-milk substitutes.

There will also be no advertising allowed for hemorrhoid treatments or female hygiene products during mealtimes.

“The current ad length per episode during our prime-time TV series is 2.5 minutes,” Wu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the advertisement center of the Shanghai Media Group, told Shanghai Daily. “We will probably raise the primetime ad price if we have to cut the number to rebalance demand and supply,” Wu said.

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