China has banned celebrities with lapsed morals who have committed crimes like drunk driving, drug use, fraud, and tax evasion from endorsing health, education and financial products.
Celebrities who have “lapsed morals” are now banned by the Chinese government from promoting products, and all celebrities are banned from endorsing financial, educational, and health-related products. The new restrictions are “guided by Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era,” according to the authorities.
Following the twice-decadental Chinese Communist Party congress, where President Xi Jinping was elected to an unprecedented third team as party chairman and introduced a new leadership team filled with allies in an effort to further consolidate his authority, the socioeconomic move was made.
“The latest clampdown was announced as the Chinese president intensifies his drive to reform social values and youth culture in the world’s most populous country, under the banner of common prosperity’,” reports the Financial Times.
“Celebrities should consciously practice socialist core values in their advertising endorsement activities, and endorsement activities should conform to social morals and traditional virtues,” the new regulations say.
From now on, companies are forbidden from employing celebrities to advertise healthcare, medical devices, infant formula, private education, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes. Social media, advertisements, livestreaming, interviews, and other similar platforms are all covered by the guidelines.
The use of celebrities with “lax morals” in product advertisements is prohibited. That includes people who have committed crimes like drunk driving, drug use, fraud, and tax evasion.
“The media is lax, allowing illegal and immoral stars to participate in advertising endorsements,” said Chinese authorities. “The chaos in the field of advertising endorsements has seriously infringed upon the rights and interests of consumers, disrupted the market order and polluted the social atmosphere, and the people have expressed strong reactions.”
The younger generation in China was advised by Xi last week to “abandon the finicky lifestyle and complacent attitude.” He did so in front of the 44-mile irrigation canal known as the Hongqi, or “red flag,” canal, which was built in 1960 as part of China’s “Great Leap Forward.” It took nine years to build by hand using bas3ic tools over rugged and mountainous terrain.
“We need to educate people, especially the youths, with the Hongqi canal spirit that China’s socialism is won by hard work, struggles and even sacrifice of lives. This was not only true in the past but also true in the new era,” said Xi.
Xi’s comments appear to be an effort to address the youth stagnation that is now affecting China at a time when youth unemployment is rising. It can be summed up by the recently adopted Chinese expression “tang ping,” which means “lying flat.” Tang ping refers to a way of life that embraces minimal expectations for career and financial success, much like the American concept of “quiet quitting.”
Zhang Guohua, president of a Chinese advertising association, commented on the new endorsement rules by saying, “This does not mean that celebrity endorsements will be limited, but everyone will be more cautious, and the artists will be more responsible and self-disciplined.” Speaking of celebrities, he added, “You have such an industry status and influence, so you should be cautious in your words and deeds.”