Another Take on the so-called “Ban on Luxury advertising in China”
Indeed, where else to discuss about this matter if not on Lookout China.
Apologies to be silent in the last few months on the blog. As you can imagine, outdoor business in China is still booming (+13% growth expected in 2011 overall ) and thus work is quite hectic and the pressure high in this very high competitive environment especially when we have to beat the growth ;.)
I have heard a hundred different versions of what the Beijing government notification on “Luxury advertising new regulations” meant and as the buzz is now over, I still hear many brands, clients, agencies are still very confused about what it really means for their own brand.
Well, let me summarize the situation in one sentence: Nothing has been banned in China, especially not luxury advertising; the notifications are merely just reasonable adjustments to the Advertising Law that let unscrupulous advertisers lie to the audiences via unreasonable terms and false statements.
Now people are gonna say, I am a communist and support the Chinese propaganda by saying that… ahah.
No, but let’s be honest to ourselves before jumping all around and claim the Chinese government is “cracking down on signs of hedonism” ( sounds like a scary movie for outdoor ads owners) and ask yourselves this:
- What about your local advertising laws in your respective country? Can you deliver false messages on advertising without being sued by consumer association?
- Can you claim this brand is “The World # 1 brand” loud and clear? Based on what criterias???
- Can you put half-naked models wearings furs and jewellery out there in front of your children schools??( well, am sure, not everywhere)
The above are just examples but I think you get my point. So no, luxury advertising is not banned at all in China, outdoor advertising needs luxury sector in China and vice-versa. Don’t Freak out!! Especially if you are a well established brand.
Below see the Armani Campaign in Beijing Airport running as I write this article.
I read some articles stating luxury brands going online because of outdoor luxury advertising ban... honestly made me laugh... Brands going online are linked to the purchase patterns of Chinese consumers and really have nothing to do with outdoor ban...
Anyway, read some many untrue comments and analysis on the phenomenon, felt I had to clarify this a bit. Those rules are set to avoid abuse, to avoid real estate companies to bullshit on their giant construction wraps where they tease people with untrue and coercive statements.
So far, no media owners I know have been hit in any way so my original thoughts seems verified that the only outdoor signage that have been taken out are real estate building wraps and billboards.
We can surely expect that the Advertising Law on visuals and content in China and its various sectors ( TV, radio, outdoor, print…) will see many more adjustments in the coming years which are to my eye ( for now) only the normal process for the China government to fine tune rules in an industry that did not exist in China 30 years ago. So I hope medias and so-known China specialists can think twice before commenting and scaring everyone for no reason.
Share your thoughts ;.) !!! and share this to brands so hopefully people don't think too much about this anymore.