Draft law aims to curb disorderly advertising

August 06, 2011

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has drafted Law on Advertising to regulate and protect the nation’s fine traditions and customs, while simplifying administrative procedures, said Deputy Minister Hoang Huu Ai.

The current regulations on advertising have become outdated in the rapid socio – economic development, according to the ministry.

The Ordinance of Advertising, issued 10 years ago, has failed to manage the sector’s development with expanding scales and technologies, as well as the emergence of new genres of advertisements, experts agreed.
In addition, the inconsistency in current regulations among different laws, including Commerce Law, Press Law and Publishing Law, was reported to cause difficulties and confusion for enterprises and State authorities in applying the laws.

“The outdated legal document has caused a hindrance to the advertising sector’s development,” Ai said.

The ratification of advertising law was urgently needed for the sake of consumers and the nation’s traditions. The new laws will ensure enterprises’ benefits and encourage creativity, according to Le Dinh Tung from the Centre for Study and Consultation on Consumerism.

However, the draft law has met with disagreements from the related authorities, enterprises and experts, who claim there were still many shortcomings to reconsider.

Director of Advertising Research and Training Institute Do Kim Dung approved of a new article in the draft law that eliminates licensing outdoor advertisements as a means of saving on unexpected costs and time for enterprises.

Meanwhile, Dinh Quang Ngu, president of the Viet Nam Advertising Association (VAA) disagreed, reasoning that the licensing of outdoor advertisements could be eliminated only when there was overall advertising planning.

The elimination of licensing also caused unfair competition when enterprises scrambled for places for advertisements, said Do Thi Ngoc Dung director of an advertising company. It should simplify the administrative procedures to register for advertisements, she suggested.

Advertisements, especially outdoor billboards, were seen in disorderliness everywhere, resulting from the lack of planning. To date, there were only 29 out of 63 provinces throughout the city to have ratified the planning of outdoor advertising.

The turnover of outdoor advertisements was only about 10 – 15 per cent, however, many problems were revealed due to the contradictions of regulations in different localities, said vice president of VAA Ha Van Tang.

An advertising plan plays an important role in not only creating orderliness for advertising operations, but also helping beautify urban landscape, according to the ministry.

However, it was difficult to raise an advertising plan without depending on the localities’ overall planning of urban infrastructure, transport and strategic socio-economic development.

Even the definition of “advertising” was contested. The regulations on restricting the maximum advertising area and permitted time period also cause enterprises to worry about a reduction on their turnover between 30 per cent and 50 per cent.

Moreover, there were not regulations on enterprises’ rights mentioned in the draft law, said lawyer Hoang Cao Sang from Hoang Viet Luat Law Office.
The draft law needs refinement for a consistent legal framework in accordance with realities, a must for the development of the advertising sector, emphasised the HCM City Advertising Association President Nguyen Quy Cap.

Enterprises also shared a common viewpoint that the Government should have policies to train human resources for the advertising sector.

The draft law has been proposed to the Government for comments in October, according to the ministry.

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