Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers planning to bar advertorials

CONFIDENT:Despite optimism over the passing of regulations, the KMT will not back a DPP plan to extend the ban to state-run companies and government-funded groups

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Legislators across party lines yesterday said they were confident they could push through regulations barring the government from buying advertorials before the legislature goes into recess on Wednesday.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) told reporters he was optimistic the proposal would clear the legislative floor before the session concludes this week.

Lin said the KMT would support the version proposed by the Executive Yuan, which would prohibit product placement, or embedded marketing, by government agencies in news reports and that would oblige the government to specify the nature of its advertorials whenever it needs to promote its policies.

Lin said he had reservations about a similar proposal by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that would bar the -government, state-run enterprises and government-funded organizations and businesses from implementing embedded marketing in news coverage when pushing government policies and forbid all politically motivated advertorials.

Lin said it would be unfair to apply the restriction included in the DPP proposal to state-run enterprises and state-funded businesses.

The controversy over the government’s use of embedded marketing in media came under scrutiny after Dennis Huang (黃哲斌), senior reporter at the Chinese-language China Times, resigned in protest last month against what he called an “invasion of regular news pages by advertorials.”

Huang, who worked for the China Times for more than 16 years, has since launched a signature campaign opposing the use of advertorials by politicians, saying the practice had become rampant under both the KMT and the DPP governments.

In response to the campaign, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) late last month promised the government that it would refrain from using advertorials for political purposes, adding that government campaigns promoting its policies should all be marked as ads.

Asked for comment, DPP caucus whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said the caucus would give priority to relevant bills before the legislature deals with the central government’s fiscal budget request.

The legislature on Friday referred the bills for further cross-party negotiation. In accordance with legislative regulations, the bills could be stalled for a maximum of one month unless legislators reach a consensus before that.

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