TV sta­tions li­able for fraud­u­lent ads

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - THE PO­LICE IN HUAIAN,

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.

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