China has recently banned actors and any “non-accredited personnel” from appearing in advertisements for drugs. This recent ban is part of China’s broadcast watchdog, the State Administration of Radio Film and Television’s agenda to clean up the country’s famous advertising industry that has been an ongoing battle in recent years.
Fake drug and food quality scandals are plaguing the country and this specific ban went into effect after numerous scandals broke out over the past two months regarding the health of Chinese people in several provinces due to fake drugs marketed by non-professional medicinal personnel.
A Chinese internet user late last month exposed 12 fake “experts” selling medicine under various disguises and named on television stations in Shandong province which sparked an online uproar over false endorsements. Earlier this month Chinese police arrested at least five people in connection with a fake diabetic drug linked to the deaths of at least two people and sold to thousands of patrons in several provinces. China has also sentenced two men to death for their role in making and selling milk tainted with melamine (an industrial compound) where at least six children died and nearly 300,000 people fell ill after drinking toxic dairy products last year.
The specifics of China’s new ban includes that non-accredited personnel would be banned from such advertisements and other health programs carried on television and further breaches would see advertisers and companies’ advertising licenses revoked and “temporary suspensions of sales for their medicinal products.”