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Chinese regulators have banned celebrities from endorsing a host of products, including tobacco products, off-campus tutoring, infant formula, healthcare and medical products.
The new rules, released Monday afternoon by the State Administration for Market Regulation and six other groups, will curtail the lucrative world of celebrity endorsements, which has been plagued by high-profile scandals in recent years.
The new rules prohibit celebrities from endorsing products through social media, TV ads, live streams or interviews.
“Celebrities should consciously practice socialist core values in their publicity promotion activities,” the rules state. “Activities should be consistent with social morals and traditional virtues.”
The rules include internet influencers in their definition of celebrities, reflecting the increasingly powerful role that live streamers and online personalities can play in promoting products.
They also prohibit the promotion of “distorted aesthetics” and the use of images or portraits of party and state leaders or revolutionary heroes.
All celebrity-endorsed products must first be thoroughly tested by them, and test results must be recorded in advance, under the new rules.
Companies should “consciously resist the selection of illegal and immoral celebrities as advertising spokespersons,” they added.
The celebrity endorsement industry has been hit by a series of scandals. Most recently, Li Jiaqi, a live streamer, disappeared from public view for three months after showcasing a tank-shaped cake in a June 3 video, which some analysts said Beijing interpreted as a reference. implicit in the anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre the next day.
“If a company knows or should know that a celebrity has made false political or other remarks that violate core socialist values…it must…determine that the relevant advertisement interferes with social stability and order. social public”, the new State rules.