Changes in advertising regulations needed to be closer to reality

Changes in advertising regulations are needed to be closer to what actually exists or occurs than it had been before.

Many ads in Nguyen Thi Minh Khai - Ly Thai To streets

Advertising is considered one of the most profitable cultural industries. However, in reality, although advertising generates huge revenue, it also encounters many difficulties when procedures are redundant and have not yet been defined according to modern trends.

Difficult management of advertisements on digital platforms

Currently, the Department of Grassroots Culture under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is collecting public opinions on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Advertising. Many companies and units in the sector pay attention to advertising on digital platforms because this is the current trend, along with the development of technology, advertising on online platforms is almost dominating the market.

At the workshop to collect opinions on the project amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Advertising Law in the Southern region by the Department of Grassroots Culture in coordination with the Vietnam Advertising Association held at the end of April, regulations on the rights and obligations of people conveying advertising products and people conveying influential advertising products attracted attention from many companies.

Meanwhile, the definitions and concepts of KOC (Key Opinion Consumer) or KOL (Key Opinion Leader) are still unclear. What is a famous person, and what is an influential person? Therefore, the draft amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Advertising needs to have a specific concept about the two concepts to help businesses easily seek people to advertise their products as well as better responsible agencies' management.

Regulations on advertising in newspapers, cross-border advertising activities, advertising in news programs, newsletters or other programs are also of concern to many media units, especially passive advertising - any form of marketing that doesn't require much (if any) interaction from the customer.

Mr. Nguyen Hai Trieu from Ho Chi Minh City Television said that currently, advertising for betting and digital currencies (coins) is allowed in some countries around the world. While broadcasting foreign sports tournaments, television stations are also caught in these advertisements, which is a form of passive advertising. The government needs to work with tournament broadcasting copyright holders about this matter to manage this type of passive advertising. They have intervened to embed the advertisement from the source, so the TV station does not profit from this advertisement at all and the plan for the station to handle the broadcast without violating advertising laws is also very difficult.

Anxiety about outdoor advertising

Many local departments and agencies voiced their opinions about changes in a streamlined but clearer direction for outdoor advertising licensing procedures. Delegates proposed abolishing advertising licensing procedures for signs and billboards over 20 square meters attached to existing construction works; management of advertising activities on screens placed in public places; contents, authority, method of building and implementing outdoor advertising planning...

Regarding outdoor advertising, LED screen advertising management also receives attention because advertising content is easy to change, and there is a risk of illegal content appearing without monitoring and prevention mechanisms.

Director Do Kim Dung of the Vietnam Advertising Research and Training Institute said that currently, technology has developed very strongly, staff of advertising companies can sit in the office to work, even at home to control the content displayed on a series of LED screens. However, If their advertising LED screen system is attacked by hackers and inappropriate content is broadcast, it will have a huge negative impact. Thus, responsible agencies should come up with solutions right now.

Meanwhile, LED screen advertising businesses at the conference all affirmed ensuring legal content on the screens, because this is also tied to companies' brand and future. Therefore, they strictly control illegal contents; nevertheless, they also acknowledge that outside interference is a real danger and that strengthening measures from technical to working discipline is the top priority.

Director Ninh Thi Thu Huong of the Department of Grassroots Culture of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the draft law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Advertising has been approved by the Government which proposed the National Assembly to include in the 2025 Law and Ordinance Development Program. Accordingly, the law project is expected to be submitted to the National Assembly for comments at the 8th session in October 2024 and approved at the 9th meeting in May 2025.

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