TV commercials ban to take effect

Updated: 2011-11-28 15:43

By Yang Jie (

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China's top broadcasting watchdog has ordered a national ban on all TV stations airing commercials during TV dramas.

The new ban will take into effect on Jan 1, 2012 and all TV stations must rearrange their programs to delete all commercials set to air during TV dramas or face stern punishment, said the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) on its website.

Earlier reports show TV stations have mixed responses to the long-rumored ban. East China's Jiangsu Television and North China’s Tianjin Television both made it clear that they will follow the ban, while China Central Television (CCTV), Beijing Television and Shanghai's Dragon Television said they hadn’t received any notice and declined to reveal their stance, according to Beijing News.

A micro blog survey conducted by show the majority of people in favor of the ban. About 85 percent of nearly 10,000 respondents say TV commercials are so annoying that they support the ban. Some advocates complain there are now so many commercials that sometimes it's like fragmented TV dramas are inserted into a non-stop relay of different advertisements, ruining the viewing experience.

Still, 11 percent of respondents oppose the ban on the grounds the market shouldn't be subject to excessive administrative regulations. Some voiced their concerns on whether local TV stations will abide by the ban as it will allegedly cost 20 billion yuan ($3.13 billion) in lost advertisement revenue.

The ban is among SARFT's latest efforts to regulate the country's once-rampant TV commercials. Last month, SARFT ordered a ban on sex-related commercials on radio and TV. The administration also said commercial advertisements should not be aired under the guise of a news report, or in the form of a news interview.