China’s TV regulators put out new rules Monday barring commercials during TV dramas, allowing them only in ad spots between programs, The Wall Street Journal reported. The new regulation is expected to go into effect early next year, with the aim of promoting more cultural programming. The cost will probably fall on advertisers, by reducing the number of ad spots available and hence driving up prices. The predictability of ad spots may also encourage consumers to tune out during mandated ad breaks, thus reducing the effectiveness of TV marketing. Such new rules are only the latest move in a broader crackdown in recent months by China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT). Online advertising has grown rapidly in recent years, but TV remains by far the most wide-reaching medium for advertisement in China.
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