BEIJING – China has banned TV and radio ads for push-up bras and figure-enhancing underwear in the communist government's latest move to purge the nation's airwaves of what it calls social pollution.
No examples were given, but Chinese television channels have increasingly broadcast late-night infomercials featuring scantily clad women, as well as ads for products that claim to boost sexual performance.
Regulators have already targeted ads using crude or suggestive language, behavior, and images, tightening their grip on television and radio a few weeks ahead of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress at which some new senior leaders will be appointed.
The latest ban by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, also bans advertisements for sexual aids including tonics and sex toys, along with "inelegant images" in ads for what it referred to simply as "adult products."
The notice indicated that regulators were concerned about both lascivious imagery and outrageous or insupportable claims about some products' benefits or effectiveness.
"Illegal 'sexual medication' advertisements and other harmful ads pose a grave threat to society," said the SAFT notice, issued last week and seen Sunday on the administration's Web site.
"They not only seriously mislead consumers, harm the people's health, pollute the social environment, and corrupt social mores, but also directly harm the credibility of public broadcasting and affect the image of the Communist Party and the government," the notice said.
China has already also issued strict rules for TV talent shows, including the banning of "American Idol"-style mass audience voting by mobile phone text message or the Internet.
A few weeks ago, SARFT ordered 11 radio shows off the air in southern and central China for talking too explicitly about sex or for broadcasting material of an "extreme pornographic nature."
Regulators have also banned television shows about cosmetic surgery and sex changes, and a talent show that they deemed coarse.