The Chinese government issued a circular on Wednesday suspending
TV programs that introduce slimming and breast enlargement products
following complaints by sufferers misled by the programs.
The circular, issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film
and Television and the General Administration for Industry and
Commerce, said from August 1, all TV and radio channels should
suspend programs that introduce slimming, breast enlargement and
height increase products. The suspension will only be lifted when
these kinds of programs have been corrected and a new circular can
The circular pointed out that recently some satellite TV
channels and local radio channels repeatedly broadcast advertising
programs that exaggerate the medical effects of certain slimming or
breast enlargement products. Such programs have misled customers
and done them harm, and also damaged the media's reputation.
TV or radio programs that introduce medicine or medical services
should emphasise disease prevention and control. Program contents
should be authentic and legitimate, said the circular.
Doctors, professionals and apothecaries who are invited as
guests on the programs are not allowed to propagandize and
overstate the medical effect of the products,
Nor are they allowed to introduce vanguard medical treatments
which have not been officially recognized by hospitals.
Local governments should urge TV stations and radio stations to
look critically at their programs. If advertising, TV or radio
programs on medicine or health products have led to serious
consequences due to unfounded claims, the program producers will be
severely punished, according to the circular.
Recently, increasing numbers of consumers have complained that
they were cheated by advertising programs on slimming or breast
The latest case occurred in early July. A woman in her 20s,
identified as Beibei, appeared in a CCTV program and spoke about
her painful experience. She tried a breast enlargement drink,
called Bolibao, which had been billed as "the world's most
effective and convenient breast enlargement product" in a
widely-broadcast TV advertising program. She ended up with a
menstrual disorder, more acne on her face and breast pains.
(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2006)