Guide to advertisement censorship law in China
Overseas companies operating in China, as well as advertising agencies need to be aware of the importance of the forbidden Chinese keywords. Many companies fall into the trap of illegal advertising due to negligence or ignorance of Chinese laws, which may result in legal prosecution or compensation, inadvertently damaging the brand image.
A Japan brand J company had directly translated the words "most advanced technology" and "top technology" from its official company materials, and published it as a product advertisement on the company's Chinese official website. As a result, it was determined to be illegal by the China national institutions（SAIC） and fined 200k RMB.
L'Oreal (China) Co., Ltd. was found to have violated the advertising law and fined 200k RMB for releasing false expressions words with the use effect of fictitious products regardless of age and skin condition.
According to advertisement censorship law in China, all offline and online advertisement (Baidu SEO, WeChat Ads, Weibo Feed Ads, DSP, etc.) are subject to review. Information released by KOL in personal capacity & not via advertisement is not included under this law.
There are various categories:
01. Words related with “the most”
02. Words related with “number one”
03. Words related with “Level”
04. Words related to the notion of a brand
05. Words related to absolute, extreme and unverifiable expressions
06. Words related with “first/national”
07. Words related with false expressions
08. Words which may mislead or trick consumers
09. Words which overtly seduce consumers
10. Words with authority related expressions
11. Words related with superstition
12. Words related with pornography
13. Words related with timing
14. It is forbidden to use words that are suspected to be medical in ordinary goods
15. Prohibited words in medical advertisements (hospitals, medicines and medical devices)
16. Prohibited words in cosmetic advertisements
17. Prohibited words in property advertisements
18. Prohibited words in education industry advertisements
19. Prohibited words in financial industry advertisements
20. False promotion of patented technology
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