During last months Global Advertiser Week hosted in Bejing it was announced that advertising in China will soon be regulated through self-regulation by the advertising industry. A jubilating announcement was made by the industry financed International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) which stated that the new code will call for: ‘All brand communications to be legal, decent, honest and truthful, recognizes the special care required in marketing to children and young people, and includes rules applying to advertising for medicines, health products, food, cosmetics, and alcohol beverages.’
The move to self-regulation was strongly supported by ‘leading international alcohol producers’, through their ‘Global Actions on Harmful Drinking’ initiative. According to the press release: ‘The Global Actions initiatives are the result of the collective commitment of major international beverage alcohol producers to make a significant effort in the 2010-2012 time frame to address harmful drinking. The initiatives are being carried out through a combination of global and local actions, with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries and a focus on three areas of activity: Drink Driving, Noncommercial Alcohol, and Self-Regulation of alcohol advertising and marketing communications.’
The press release also quoted ICAP’s Vice President Brett Bivans who said that: ‘China is one of the countries of focus for our efforts, and we are pleased to see the adoption of this code, which reflects the commitment of internal alcohol producers to responsible advertising and marketing practices.’
The announcement did not go into specifics about how the system of self-regulation will work or when it will be implemented and used.