TV stations liable for fraudulent ads
a city in East China’s Jiangsu province, recently arrested Hu Zunqin, who falsely claimed to be a medical expert in TV advertisements promoting stomach medicine. Beijing Youth Daily comments:
Hu is just one of the bogus medical experts who cheated audiences by making false claims about products they were promoting on TV. The most notorious of them must be Liu Hongbin, who was recently exposed as fraudulently claiming to be associated with a variety of respected medical institutions to give credence to the products she was promoting as miracle cures.
Many have called for Liu, Hu and others engaged in the same racket to receive harsh punishments because they were deceiving people into believing the phony products they were recommending could cure their illnesses. But while they should get their deserved punishments they are only part of the pernicious chain.
Who hired them to perform in the advertisements? Who produced the products they recommended? TV stations are responsible for verifying the veracity of claims made in the advertisements they broadcast, so how did
these advertisements prove acceptable?
Such healthcare infomercials and product placement mainly targeting elderly viewers are commonly broadcast by provincial and municipal TV stations, due to a loophole in the law, which states those broadcasting advertisements for medicines must first get the approval of the food and drug administration. If they break the law, the market regulation departments should deal with the case. However, the law does not specify which department is responsible for those advertisements that fail to get approval but are still broadcast.
In Hu’s case, it was dissatisfied customers that informed the police. In order to put an end to the deceitful profiteering in this manner, consumers need to put pressure on the law enforcers so that the latter perform their duty more efficiently.
It is time to mend the fences so that false medicine advertisements won’t appear again.