Mon, Jun 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Some restrictions lifted for PRC ads in local media

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The government will not fully open local media to Chinese advertising and will maintain its ban on real estate and investment advertisements, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said last week.

The legislature’s Internal Administration Committee on Thursday deferred the screening of amendments to regulations governing Chinese advertisements for products and services on the local market because of a boycott by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, who said permitting Chinese ads would enable China to manipulate Taiwanese media.

If passed, the amendments would allow Chinese firms to advertise products and services in Taiwanese media without requiring permission from the Taiwanese government.

MAC spokesman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) on Friday said the MAC had convened at least two supra-ministerial meetings and an initial resolution had been reached that includes the proviso that ads for Chinese products would only be allowed in Taiwanese media if the products being advertised are actually sold in Taiwan.

This means that property ads and investment-soliciting ads by China’s central and local governments, as well as ads promoting images of Chinese enterprises and ads for China’s official or semi-official activities, would not be permitted, Liu said.

Liu said there was “no need” for the 8,000 items of Chinese products currently allowed to be sold in Taiwan to be advertised because they already have clear and distinctive product positioning.

However, there was a need for Chinese firms to advertise products and services that are currently not available in Taiwan and are seeking a clear brand image following increasingly frequent exchanges between Taiwan and China — such as law firms, product patent rights, intellectual property rights and corporate image, Liu said.

There is still room for discussion on whether these types of advertisements should be allowed, he said.

At present, Chinese advertisers must obtain permission to advertise in Taiwanese media, according to Article 34 of the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).

However, until the statute is amended, the government will continue to impose fines on media outlets that carry illegal ads, Liu said.

Since 2003, the Ministry of the Interior has issued 20 fines to local media outlets for illegally running real estate advertisements placed by Chinese firms, including one each to the Taipei-based China Times and the Commercial Times last month, statistics showed.

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