Beijing Bans “High Class” Ads

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As the fashion industry in the West flocks to the booming luxury market in China, the government there has made an apparent about-face by placing a ban on certain terminology on outdoor advertising that seems to specifically target luxury goods, WWD reports.

The official China Daily newspaper broke the news March 17, after a press release was issued outlining the new rules taking effect April 15. According to WWD:

The move "will target advertisements that 'promote hedonism’ or ‘the worship of foreign-made products,’ ” the newspaper said. Thus far, it appears the actual change relates to banning the use of certain words on outdoor advertising like billboards. These include “supreme,” “royal,” “luxury” or “high class” — words frequently seen on Beijing’s multitudinous billboards.

While censorship of specific verbiage seems less significant, the ambiguity behind the notion of "the worship of foreign-made products" portends a change in course for the unchecked influx of Western labels to China.

Though the report indicates that companies seem initially undettered by the regulations, which are presumed to represent the government's attempts at closing the gaping discrepancy of wealth in the country, only time—and clearer explanation—will tell how imported brands will fare.

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