Sunday , February 5 2023

Brands to be fined for advertising in channels blacklisted for ‘harmful’ content


The information ministry says it will create a “blacklist” of “harmful” websites, social media accounts and other content channels and fine brands that advertise on them.

At a Wednesday conference on internet advertisements held by the Ministry of Information and Communications, a ministry rep said brands were still advertising on websites and other content channels that violated laws. Advertisers are these channels’ sponsors, which negatively impact the community and create unfair competition with other channels that provide “clean” content.

One of the solutions being considered is the creation of a “blacklist” of sites carrying ads. The listing would cover websites, social media accounts, content channels and community pages that violate the law, or those that host “nonsensical” contents that negatively affect the community.

The blacklist would help brands identify sites that they should not advertise on.

“The new thing about the list is that we will announce the pages with violations, for example the No O No channel. Whichever entity still has advertisements on such channels would be breaking the law and would be fined accordingly,” said Le Quang Tu Do, head of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information.

No O No, a TikTok channel with over 600,000 followers, triggered outrage after it published videos with derogatory language. The owner of the channel, Pham Duc Tuan, was fined VND7.5 million and saw his channel permanently banned on Tuesday.

The ministry would also create a “whitelist” of licensed newspapers, journals, news sites and social media outlets, including websites and accounts that have registered with the information ministry.

“We will make sure that this list covers the entire market, so that brands and resellers can prioritize advertisements on these sites,” Do said.

Some advertisers at the conference agreed that the creation of black and white lists was necessary, adding that they have their own such lists as well. However, as content on social media is published continually, a “whitelist” account could be blacklisted within just hours, so there needs to be clear policies and time frames for all parties to prepare for such eventualities, they said.

The creation of black and white lists would start next year, the conference heard.

Nguyen Thanh Lam, deputy information minister, said advertising on the internet has become an “inevitable trend” for businesses both within and outside Vietnam. However, it entails certain risks as businesses and brands cannot ensure exactly where their advertisements would show up, he noted.

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