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Regulator leads the fight against false and misleading advertisements

Cao Yin
Updated: May 9, 2022 09:57    China Daily

The State Administration for Market Regulation, the nation's top related body, has vowed to strengthen the fight against false advertising in the cosmetic surgery industry to safeguard livelihoods and promote the sector's healthy development.

In March, Qin Yizhi, the administration's deputy head, advised all its offices nationwide to put people first this year and urged them to provide stronger supervision of false advertising in several major fields, such as healthcare, plastic surgery and finance.

Qin said false advertising in these areas has long prompted complaints and seriously affected people's lives. As such, he ordered market regulators nationwide to beef up punishments.

A statement from the administration said that soon after it raised standards, a beauty clinic in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, was fined 200,000 yuan ($31,446) by the local regulator because treatments and medications shown in its ads contained poisonous substances.

Scrutiny of false or misleading ads in the sector has been tightened since last year.

In November, the administration issued a guideline on ads for cosmetic surgery.

It banned nonmedical institutes and other players who lack the relevant qualifications from publishing ads related to services.

The guideline also stipulated that relevant clinics and salons cannot use ads to promote or exacerbate people's anxieties about their appearance.

Ads that claim employees without medical qualifications or a background in related education are "doctors" or "medical experts" are deemed to be false and mislead consumers, it said, adding that such claims must be countered.

Upholding people's health and safety as a priority, it ordered market regulators at all levels to guide internet platforms to establish and improve systems to monitor illegal or improper content related to plastic surgery.

Operators of online platforms who fail to block incorrect information will face heavy punishments, it added.