Advertising in China


True or False: Marketing in the U.S. is quite similar to marketing in China. Hmm…. Let’s think about this one. We might be more alike than originally thought.

China recently updated its advertising laws for the first time in more than 20 years (and a lot has happened to marketing since 1994). The new laws go into effect in September and will impact diverse areas including the use of celebrity endorsements, the Chinese flag, pop-up ads and more. The new laws even impact tobacco advertising, critical to companies marketing to China’s 300 million smokers. The new laws are focused on strengthening consumer protection and increase fines for any false or misleading advertising.

One new law holds celebrity endorsers responsible for false claims. Consider a recent fine levied against P&G’s Crest toothpaste, fined $963,000 or using software to whiten a celebrity endorser’s teeth. Another regulation prohibits children under 10 years old from endorsing any products. And, although the tobacco business is state-owned, the one million deaths each year caused by tobacco prompted a ban on all tobacco ads aimed at underage consumers and cannot appear in public places or in any mass media outlets.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss ethics in marketing. What is the difference between laws and ethics?
  2. Discuss the impact of laws and ethics when marketing in different countries.
  3. Divide students into teams and assign each team a country. For each country, have the team research the regulations that impact marketing in these countries.
  4. How are these laws different (or similar) to laws in the U.S.?
  5. Should some of these foreign laws be adopted in the U.S.?

Source: Ad Age Daily

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