A woman who falsely claimed to be a medical expert has disappeared after the TV advertisements in which she appeared extolling the efficacy of various medical products were banned. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:
It should be emphasized that the woman has broken the Advertisement Law by falsely claiming in advertisements broadcast by various provincial TV broadcasters to be a medical specialist affiliated with well-known hospitals around the country. Worse, her fraudulent promotions could pose a health risk to patients. For instance, she boasted that diabetes patients could give up controlling their food as long as they took a particular medicine she was promoting. (The main ingredient in her products was found to be cornstarch).
However, she is not the only person responsible for the false advertisements. According to the new Advertisement Law, amended in 2015, the medical companies whose products she promoted, the advertising companies that hired her, as well as the TV stations should all be held accountable.
The woman's case reveals a new trend in the advertisement sector, namely many TV stations are mixing their health programs with advertisements. None of the advertisements she was involved in was clearly identifiable as a commercial. As a result, many audiences cannot distinguish between the advertisements and the health programs in which they were broadcast. With the woman claiming to have professional medical titles, it was easy for viewers to be cheated into buying the medicines she recommended.
Article 14 of the Advertisement Law clearly forbids such deeds and requires TV stations to unambiguously label advertisements as such. However, in practice, the mixing of commercials with regular programs is still quite rampant.
Now that the woman has been revealed to be a fraud and her advertisements have been banned by the authorities, it is time for every link in the chain of cheats to pay the price for their misdeeds. Those who bought the medicines recommended in the advertisements could sue the advertising companies and TV stations in court, while the market supervision agencies and advertisement regulatory agencies must play their role and hold the companies answerable.