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Airing of Banned Ads Gets 2 TV Channels Punished
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Two provincial-level TV channels have been ordered to suspend all commercials as a punishment for repeatedly screening banned medical advertisements.

The two channels, run by Ningxia Television Station and Gansu Television Station, were ordered to suspend all commercials from Monday and "earnestly criticize their mistakes" in written reports, according to a notice issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

This is the biggest clampdown by the SARFT since new regulations came into vigor last August, banning television and radio advertisements for medicines, medical equipment, weight loss, breast enlargement and other beauty products and treatments.

The administration said the two channels were found to have been airing the banned ads in June during TV shopping programs or during breaks in TV series, despite four separate notifications and warnings from February to May.

According to the regulations, a broadcaster found to be airing such advertisements will receive three orders to desist over a 60-day period before receiving a full commercial ban.

The Ningxia TV channel ran commercials advertising a type of "magic" slimming product in TV shopping programs, but the administration did not mention the type of products the Gansu TV channel was advertising.

The administration said the news of the stiff punishment had been passed on to all provincial radio, film and television authorities of the punishment, telling them to take stock of this warning and to operate by the book.

In recent years, a series of incidents attributed to fake drugs or exaggerated medical treatment with exaggerated have caused injuries or even deaths, with areas of the public complaining of a lack of government supervision.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2007)

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