Bright Dairy fined for ads with map that ‘harmed national interests’

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/18 20:38:40

Photo: GT

A Chinese dairy giant was recently fined 300,000 yuan (US$44,792) by Shanghai market supervision authorities for running advertisements that "harmed the dignity or interests of the country". 

A map of China used in a video ad by Bright Dairy did not describe the territory of China completely and accurately, which was a violation of China's Advertising Law, according to the Shanghai market supervision administration on Sunday.

Under the law, advertisements must not harm the dignity or interests of the country or reveal state secrets.

In responding to the punishment, the company made an official statement on Sunday, in which it admitted that the video producer had neglected to show the integrity and accuracy of China's territory.

The video was commissioned by Shanghai Ximeng Culture Media Co and was made for Bright Dairy & Food Co's strategic planning, said the statement.

Bright Dairy & Food Co stopped using the video and has a deep understanding of the facts, said the company, adding that it will actively cooperate with the investigation.

Amid questions over what kind of content could constitute harming the country's dignity, some rumors on social media said that this might have involved its advertising slogan "Please give me light," for implicitly mocking the country's governance. 

The company has denied this allegation and claimed that the rumors seriously harmed its corporate image. It called on netizens not to spread rumors and said it would strengthen its supervision and management.

Bright Dairy & Food Co, based in Shanghai, was established in 1996 and is a major dairy product manufacturer in China.

Bright Dairy & Food Co is not the only company to have been fined for violating regulations on the incorrect representation of the Chinese map or inappropriate expressions that hurt national feelings in advertisements.

In 2019, Japanese-brand MUJI was penalized for using an inappropriate term "French Concession" in an advertisement on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Many netizens said the term "French Concession", which referred to a history of aggression and humiliation, did not respect the national feelings of the Chinese people.

In 2018, MUJI was fined 200,000 yuan for selling products with the label "Made in Taiwan", which violated the one-China principle.


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