China Beijing

Luxury advertising banned in Beijing

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

March 22, 2011 | 2 min read

The Beijing government has moved to ban luxury advertising in what appears an attempt to avoid rubbing less well-off residents’ noses in the fact that the gap between China’s rich and poor is growing.

Recent economical growth by the country has seen its capital Beijing festooned with advertisements for penthouses, fine wines and exclusive golf clubs, but the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce has now warned companies to remove words such as "luxury", "royal", "supreme" and "high class" from billboards before 15 April or face a 30,000 yuan (£2,800) fine.

The administration has deemed that such advertisements propagate a politically "unhealthy" climate.

Also in the firing line are advertisements judged to encourage aspiration to a “foreign” lifestyle, with Chinese companies having caught on to the value of creating "foreign-sounding" brands as rich Chinese openly flaunt Italian clothes, German cars and French wine.

The wealth gap in the country is seen as a serious problem by premier Wen Jiabao who has undertaken to resolve “unfair income distribution” in the next five years, putting happiness ahead of economic success.

Currently the average income in a Chinese city is three times that of a person living in the countryside.

China Beijing

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