After TV shopping company “Happy Shopping” was fined for running false ads last month, the authorities are running radar on the ad contents of similar firms and TV channels that air their infomercials, promising to impose heavy penalties on violators.
Dao Kim Phu, head of the southern branch of the Administration of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said his unit has asked many TV channels to stop airing Happy Shopping infomercials and send reports to the Administration of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.
The Administration also requested companies involved to review advertising contracts with Happy Shopping.
Phu said the Administration will inspect TV channels such as HTVC, SCTV, Long An and Can Tho’s provincial channels and some VTV’s channels that are involved with Happy Shopping.
He also said that his unit would consider cracking down on any TV channels which air ads that inflate the products’ quality.
“The TV channels should protect consumers, and any violators will be forced to stop running the ads,” he said.
At present, dozens of advertisements from TV shopping companies are being aired everyday on TV, which describe their products as having magical effects to cure all diseases or able to bring consumers gorgeous beauty within a few seconds.
For instance, the nutritional supplement caterpillar fungus is currently a common product that most companies are selling on TV.
Offering them at VND1.3 million (US$65) each, the TV shopping companies claim that it not only provides consumers with additional nutrition but also protects them from many illness such as sexual malfunction, kidney disease, backache and coughing.
But a doctor from the HCMC Hospital for Traditional Medicine affirmed that caterpillar fungus cannot cue any diseases but only plays a supplementary role in illness treatment.
Although it’s against the Ministry of Health to advertise nutritional supplement foods as medicines to cure illness, many companies are still running ads that describe the product as a magic potion.
Many beauty products like Happy Shopping’s Wonderful bras (selling for VND1 million or $50 each) are also advertised to have the incredibly magical and immediate effects like “enlarging the wearers’ breasts within 15 seconds”.