A month-long investigation and crackdown found the 50 agencies were paying commissions to clients to secure business or acting as "briefcase firms" without capital, offices and skilled personnel.
Rapid development of the advertising industry means that Xi'an now has 576 ad agencies employing more than 5,000 employees. The industry's total annual business was worth $30m, according to Bai Shuyou, an official with Xi'an Municipal Industrial and Commercial Administration.
The local administration hopes to keep order and promote the healthy development of the advertising industry by strict controls and active promotion, the official said.
Copyright April 1997, Crain Communications Inc.