A potency drug commercial on Chinese television which features
businessmen bragging of how they win over female clients with the
medication has come under attack on Internet forums and prompted
state TV authorities to launch an investigation.
The commercial has been played on provincial satellite TV
stations in Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei. "The ad has crossed
the bottom line of morality," said one Internet posting. "It is
nothing but shameless." Another said, "I can't believe TV stations
would broadcast an ad like that."
The complaints center for television commercials of the State
Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said it had
received many complaints about the commercial, the Beijing
Times reported. The center would report it to a higher
administrative department in SARFT for investigation and possible
disciplinary action, the report said.
The commercial for the drug called Shengdi Meilijian -- Holy
King Charm Strong when translated literally – was normally aired in
the cheaper advertising slots around midnight, said a commercial
agent for several satellite TV stations named Zhou. "On Shaanxi
satellite TV for example the price for midnight commercials is 550
yuan (US$69) per minute," he was quoted as saying.
Healthcare product commercials were broadcast on provincial
satellite television with the approval of the local food and drug
bureaus and broadcasting authorities, Zhou said. "If the content
was found to be vulgar, it would be impossible to show on TV
although local authorities have different standards," he said.
The drug is claimed to be a US-made product that improves kidney
function and boosts potency for men. Part of its name, Meilijian,
is a homophonic Chinese play on the term for the United States.
After learning of the complaints salesman at Beijing Biotech
Company, agents for the product, said the "commercial was made to
leave a deep impression," the newspaper reported.
Last month, the SARFT announced a ban on television and radio
advertisements for weight loss, breast enlargement and other beauty
products and treatments amid fears that such commercials violated
consumer rights and endangered health.
In May, the authorities banned Ao Mei Ding, a breast-enlarging
liquid made by Fu Hua Pharmaceutical Co. and injected into more
than 300,000 women. It caused some women so much pain that they had
to have their breasts removed.
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2006)