Not while we're eating, Chinese advertisers warned

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BEIJING -- Chinese TV stations are being urged by the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television to respect the habits and customs of people when broadcasting TV commercials.

A notice issued by the ministry has banned the broadcasting of TV commercials for hemorrhoids and beriberi treatments between the hours of 6:30 and 7:30am, 11:30am and 12:30pm, and 6:30 and 8:00pm, the times when most Chinese people have their breakfast, dinner and supper.

Heavyweight TV campaigns for such products, and also for women's sanitary protection products, have brought criticism from the public. One sanitary towel TV commercial has become famous, not only from its commercials, but also for the fact that it has become so influential that a schoolchild who was asked to make a sentence illustrating the word "more", quoted its ad tagline: "Drier, Clearer and Happier.

Now ads for those type of products are being shown later at night, to avoid clashing with dinner time and also to reduce the likelihood of children watching.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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