THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
Hanoi, June 19, 1999
GUIDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A NUMBER OF PROVISIONS ON ADVERTISING ACTIVITIES IN DECREE No. 194/CP OF DECEMBER 31, 1994, DECREE No. 87/CP OF DECEMBER 12, 1995 AND DECREE No. 32/ND-CP OF MAY 5, 1999 OF THE GOVERNMENT
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 194/CP of December 31, 1994 stipulating the advertising activities on the Vietnamese territory;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 87/CP of December 12, 1995 on enhancing the management of cultural activities and cultural services, and stepping up the elimination of a number of serious social evils;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No. 32/1999/ND-CP of May 5, 1999 on sale promotion, commercial advertisement and trade fairs and exhibitions;
In order to enhance the State management and create conditions for the development of advertising activities, after consulting a number of concerned ministries and branches, the Ministry of Culture and Information hereby guides in detail a number of relevant provisions, as follows:
Article 1.- Organizations and individuals conducting advertising activities shall have to comply with relevant provisions of Decree No.194/CP, Decree No.87/CP, Decree No.32/1999/ND-CP and the detailed guidance in this Circular,
Article 2.- The concepts referred to in Decree No.194/CP can be understood as follows:
1. Offices of State management agencies at all levels (Clause 11, Article 6 of Decree No.194/CP) include: Legislative agencies, executive agencies, judicial agencies, and the socio-political as well as mass organizations.
2. Advertisements, which are placed in front of or hiding previously placed advertisements (Clause 11, Article 6 of Decree No.194/CP), are those standing in the middle of traffic roads where others were placed earlier, provided that the later placed advertisement hides no more than 10% of the earlier placed ones’ space as seen from their front side (quadraturely).
3. Events accompanied by advertising contents (in Clause 4, Article 7 of Decree No.194/CP) implying the use of billboards, posters, signboards, paintings or pictures, bands, flags and banners propagandizing, campaigning or publicizing art festivals, sport competitions, exhibitions and fashion shows, and other forms that are accompanied with products’ symbols, shapes and/or appellations or with names and/or logos of certain organizations and individuals presented for advertising purpose.
4. An advertising spell (Point a, Clause 1, Article 8 of Decree No.194/CP) is a continuous period of time for an advertisement. The interval between two consecutive advertising spells for one advertisement on printed daily newspapers, radio or television must be at least 5 days.
5. The time period for advertisements on radio or television is a daily time period devoted to broadcasting of advertisements on a channel.
- The time for advertisements on video or audio tapes and discs or movies must not exceed 5% of the length of such programs.
Article 3.- A number of concepts in Decree No.194/CP shall be changed to conform to the professional requirements or new regulations of relevant branches:
1. "Goods quality registration certificate" or "certificate of compatibility with the Vietnamese standards" shall replace the "quality certificate" stipulated in Clause 1, Article 9 or "certificate of quality standards" stipulated in Clause 3, Article 17 of Decree No.194/CP.
2. Advertising clients shall also be understood as advertisement owners (those who have the need to advertise their goods and/or services).
3. The transaction places are head offices of units providing advertising services; the practicing places are places where the advertising work is carried out (or advertising products are made) such as workshops and audio or visual recording studios.
Article 4.- Organizations and individuals that have already been granted advertising business registration certificates, when commencing their operations, shall have to send their written registrations to the Information and Culture Services in the provinces or cities where they are headquartered.
Such a document must clearly state:
- The name and address of the organization or individual already granted the business registration certificate;
- The serial number of the granted business registration certificate and the granting agency.
Enclosed with such written registrations must be a notarized copy of the business registration certificate.
ADVERTISING CONTENTS, FORMS AND SCOPE
Article 5.- The advertising contents (including information on properties, utility and quality of goods and services, as well as the images and languages demonstrating them) must be certified by the competent agencies, more concretely:
1. For home-made goods:
a) Goods on the list of goods subject to the compulsory quality registration (publicized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment) must be given the goods quality registration certificates by the agency(ies) in charge of standardization, measurement and quality management;
b) Goods on the list of goods subject to compulsory "Vietnamese standards" certification must be given certificates of compatibility with the Vietnamese standards by the General Department of Standardization, Measurement and Quality or comply with Decision No.59/TDC-QD of April 7, 1998 of the General Department of Standardization, Measurement and Quality (for enterprises allowed to publicize by themselves their goods’ quality).
2. Foreign goods imported into Vietnam must be accompanied with papers certifying their lawful import. Goods on the list of goods subject to the compulsory quality inspection must be inspected and given certificates of compatibility with standards prescribed by the State by the General Department of Standardization, Measurement and Quality or specialized managing ministries.
3. For advertisements for pharmaceuticals (medicines and raw materials for production thereof), cosmetics, vaccines, immune bio-products, medical instruments and equipment and foodstuffs, there must be the quality standard certificates granted by competent bodies of the Ministry of Health.
4. For advertisements for bio-products in service of cultivation or husbandry, animal feeds, veterinary medicines, plant protection drugs, plant and animal breeds, there must be written certification by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
5. Trademarks, goods appellations and origins, industrial designs, utility solutions and inventions must be granted by the competent bodies of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment the following respective papers:
a/ Protection titles (trademarks registration certificates, industrial design patents, utility solution patents, invention patents, certificates of the right to use goods appellations and origins).
b/ Certificates of registration of contracts for transfer of the right to use corresponding industrial property objects (certificates of license contract registration);
c/ Papers certifying that the relevant industrial property objects are currently protected in Vietnam under the international agreement which Vietnam has acceded to.
6. For advertisements for operations of enterprises, companies, establishments engaged in service provision, vocational training or labor recruitment or similar forms, there must be establishment decisions and business registration certificates granted by the superior agencies or specialized managing agencies.
Article 6.- Enterprises and companies currently engaged in many production and business lines and trades, many products and goods items bearing a common trademarks (firm appellation), when making advertisements shall have to clearly specify the contents of their trades, product and goods lines that need to be advertised in stead of their appellations in generality.
Article 7.- Advertisements for goods items banned from business by the State shall be prohibited, goods items subject to the consumption restrictions shall be restricted from advertisement, and the following advertising forms shall be prohibited:
1. Goods items and products banned from advertisements in any forms include:
a) Medicaments for human use which must be sold according to doctors’ prescriptions; medicines without registration or with expired registration date which are put out of the list of medicines permitted for use; medical equipment and instruments and cosmetics which have not yet been permitted for use in Vietnam;
b) Cigarettes and tobacco of all kinds;
c) Advertisements on covers of pupils’ note books and textbooks;
d) Advertisements of names of "sponsoring" organizations or individuals with a size equal to or larger than that of logos, emblems or names of art performance or sport competitions, or hung or installed at the same height as or higher than such logos or emblems;
e) Advertisements for foods made of meat of specious and rare animal species.
2. The advertisements for goods and commercial services subject to the business restrictions shall comply with the provisions of Article 16 of Decree No.32/1999/ND-CP.
3. Liquor advertisements shall be restricted as follows:
a/ Home-made liquors with an alcoholic strength of 15o or lower may be advertised on the press as follows:
- Each issue of printed press shall be allowed to advertise one liquor label. Each liquor label shall be advertised on no more than 5 consecutive issues in each advertising spell. Each interval between two advertising spells shall be at least 7 days for dailies, or 3 consecutive issues for alternate-dailies. For weeklies or other periodicals, each interval between two advertising spells shall be one issue;
- Radio and television shall be allowed to advertise one liquor label on one channel in the day. Each advertisement shall be broadcast not more than twice a day and each advertising spell shall not exceed 5 days in a row. Between two advertising spells for a liquor label shall be an interval of at least 10 days;
b/ Home-made liquors with an alcoholic strength of 16o or higher shall be advertised only within the liquor manufacturing enterprises, or within their sale agents’ premises, provided that persons outside such enterprises or agents’ premises cannot read, hear or see such advertisements.
On the occasion of new year festivals or the enterprises’ founding anniversaries, the enterprises may have their greetings to their customers published or broadcast once on the press, introducing their names, addresses and/or logos;
c/ Medicinal liquors and tonic liquors shall be advertised under the provisions of the "Regulation on information on and advertisement for medicines and cosmetics for human use", issued together with the Ministry of Health’s Decision No.322/BYT of February 28, 1997;
d/ It is prohibited to advertise liquors in any forms other than those stipulated in Points a, b and c of this Clause.
4. It is prohibited to use sounds for advertisements, that cause public disorder.
Article 8.- Advertisements on the press
1. Newspapers, magazines, radio-television (press agencies) that publish or broadcast advertisements shall have to comply with the following specific regulations:
a) Newspapers and magazines that wish to publish advertisements on more than 10% of their space shall have to obtain permission from the press managing agency(ies) for publishing advertising supplements. Advertising supplements must be bound into separate volumes and distributed together with such newspapers and magazines without increasing the sale prices. The number of pages of advertising supplements must not exceed 50% of that of the principal publications.
b) Radio and television stations that wish to devote more than 5% of their total broadcasting time to advertisements shall have to obtain permission from the press managing agency(ies) for opening advertising programs or channels.
2. Advertisements on the press with the following presentations shall be strictly prohibited:
a/ Advertisements on the front cover or the front page of newspapers, magazines, special issues or supplements; advertisements on 2/3 upper space of pages of the principal newspapers (not the advertising supplements) of a size of 30 cm x 45 cm or larger;
b/ Two or more advertisements for one product or one trademark on the same issue of a publication or on the same television advertising program (feature);
c/ Advertisements interposed in the contents of news or articles; advertisements inserted in the current affairs programs, special programs or art features on the radio or television, except for relayed programs from foreign stations;
d/ Advertisements interposed in the movies programs on television, home video programs or films projected at public places; except for advertisements which are inserted between episodes of a television series or serial film tapes or discs, provided that each episode lasts for more than 45 minutes;
e/ Advertisements made right after the appearance of theme music or emblems of the radio or television stations.
Article 9.- Organizations and individuals may inscribe and install their signboards without having to obtain permits therefor. Signboards shall be hung only at the establishments owning such signboards, within the space from the porch roof backward. It is prohibited to install signboards on pavements or hang them on trees or electricity posts.
CONDITIONS, PROCEDURES AND COMPETENCE FOR GRANTING PERMITS
1. The Ministry of Culture and Information shall scrutinize the advertising contents and presentations, then grant advertising permits for the following types of advertisements:
a/ Advertisements on cinematographic films, video tapes and discs;
b/ Advertisements on publications;
c/ Advertisements on screens installed at the public places managed by the central-level agencies;
d/ It may grant permits for advertising supplements and channels to press agencies, which apply therefor.
2. The provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services shall grant permits for advertisements specified in Clause 2, Article 27 of Decree No.87/CP and advertisements on screens installed at public places managed by the local agencies.
3. Investment cooperation with foreign countries in the advertising domain shall comply with Circular No.08/1998/TT-BVHTT of December 7, 1998 of the Ministry of Culture and Information guiding the implementation of the Government’s Decree No.10/1998/ND-CP of January 23, 1998 on promotion and guarantee of foreign direct investment in Vietnam.
Article 11.- The procedures for applying for advertising permits
Organizations and individuals wishing to make advertisements shall have to send their dossiers to the agencies competent to grant permits specified in Clause 2, Article 10 and Article 15 of this Circular:
Each dossier comprises:
1. An application for advertising permit
2. A notarized copy of the certificate of advertising service business registration (for enterprises providing advertising services) or the certificate of business line/trade and/or goods registration (for enterprises and individuals directly advertise their business or goods according to provisions in Articles 11, 12 and 13 of Decree No.32/1999/ND-CP).
3. The goods quality registration paper, title or certificate as prescribed.
4. For advertisements on outdoor billboards or panels with a size of 40 m2 or more, the evaluation of construction structure by an agency with the legal person status is required.
5. The contract for renting the place where the advertisement board is to be placed; the advertisement position site plan.
6. The contract between the advertisement owner and the advertiser.
7. The advertisement layout, for advertisements on billboards, posters, signboards, panels, advertising boards on traffic means or advertisements on publications; advertising images and speeches, for advertisements on cinematographic films, video tapes and discs.
Article 12.- The time limit for granting advertising permits:
1. Within 20 days (for advertisements on outdoor billboards and panels), 10 days (for other advertisements) after receiving complete and valid dossiers, the competent agencies shall grant permits according to the unified set form. In cases where they refuse to grant permits, they shall have to reply the applicants in writing, clearly stating the reasons therefor. If past that time limit, the applicants have not received written replies from the permit-granting agencies, they shall be allowed to make advertisements according to the contents and forms stated in their application dossiers.
2. The advertising permit for each outdoor advertisement shall be valid for 12 months (one year) from the granting date. 15 days after they are granted permits, if the applicant organizations or individuals still fail to make their advertisements, the permits shall be invalidated.
3. Only after obtaining advertising permits, can the advertising organizations and individuals make the advertisements.
4. All acts of trading, exchanging or counterfeiting advertising permits are strictly prohibited.
Article 13.- The permit-granting agencies shall have to:
1. Publicly post up the advertisement planning and regulations on the procedures and fees.
2. Hand receipts to the applicants when they submit complete and valid papers.
3. Keep and register permit-granting dossiers according to the unified set forms.
Article 14.- All activities of advertising business and services, self-advertisement, leasing of advertising places and means shall be subject to taxes, fees and charges, as prescribed by law.
- Organizations and individuals applying for advertising permits shall have to pay the evaluation fee according to guidance of the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Ministry of Finance in Circular No.28/TTLB of May 30, 1996.
Besides the prescribed taxes and fees, the advertisers shall not have to pay any other amounts in cash or in kind.
STATE MANAGEMENT OVER ADVERTISING ACTIVITIES
Article 15.- The Ministry of Culture and Information is the agency in charge of State management over advertising activities throughout the country. Answerable to the Minister of Culture and Information for exercising the State management are the following units:
1. The Department for Grassroots Culture and Information, which shall have to:
- Exercise the State management over advertising activities throughout the country.
- Evaluate the advertising contents and presentations as specified in Points a, b and c, Clause 1, Article 10 of this Circular.
- Regularly inspect and coordinate with the specialized culture and information inspectorate in inspecting the advertising activities.
- Make periodical reviews of the situation on advertising activities and management thereof (biannually and annually).
2. The Press Department: which shall manage the advertising activities in the press domain.
3. The Publication Department: which shall manage the advertising activities in the publication domain.
4. The Cinematography Department: which shall manage the advertisements on cinematographic films, video tapes and discs.
5. The Art Performance Department: which shall manage advertisements in the art performance domain.
Article 16.- The provincial/municipal Culture and Information Services shall be answerable to the provincial/municipal People’s Committees for performing the following tasks:
1. Managing advertising activities in their respective localities.
2. Assuming the prime responsibility and coordinating with the concerned branches in drawing up plannings on advertising activities in their respective localities, then submitting them to the provincial/municipal People’s Committees for ratification, including:
- Planning on organizations and individuals engaged in advertising activities;
- Planning on quarters, streets and locations where advertisements are allowed to be placed;
- Planning on scale, size and number of advertisements of various types in each area, ensuring the safety in terms of fire prevention and combat, construction structure, urban beauty and traffic safety.
3. Assuming the prime responsibility and coordinating with the functional branches in their localities in organizing the inspection, examination and handling of violations as prescribed.
4. Granting advertising permits according to their competence.
5. Periodically reporting to the Ministry of Culture and Information (the Department for Grassroots Culture and Information) on the granting of advertising permits, planning, inspection of advertising activities in their respective localities.
INSPECTION AND HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
1. The specialized inspectorate of the Ministry of Culture and Information shall have to inspect the advertising activities throughout the country.
2. The specialized inspectorates of the provincial/municipal Culture and Information shall have to inspect the advertising activities in their respective localities.
3. The inspection contents shall include:
- Inspection of the granting of advertising permits by the State management agencies.
- Inspection of the observance of the advertising permits.
- Inspection of the observance of other regulations on advertising activities.
Article 18.- Organizations and individuals engaged in advertising activities that commit violations shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability as prescribed by law.
1. The competence to sanction administrative violations of the regulations on advertising activities and the sanctioning levels shall comply with Decree No.88/CP of February 14, 1995 of the Government on the sanctions against administrative violations of regulations on cultural activities, cultural services and prevention of and fight against a number of social evils, as well as the current provisions of law.
2. The sanctioned organizations and individuals shall have to abide by the sanctioning decisions and be entitled to file their complaints to the competent State agencies according to the provisions of the legislation on complaints and denunciations.
3. The organizations and individuals that have issued wrong sanctioning decisions, causing material damage to advertisers shall have to make compensation for such damage as prescribed by law.
Article 20.- This Circular takes effect 15 days after its signing.
The following documents shall cease to be effective as from the effective date of this Circular:
- The Ministry of Culture and Information’s Circular No.37/VHTT-TT of July 1st, 1995 guiding the implementation of Decree No.194/CP.
- The Ministry of Culture and Information’s Circular No.07/1998/TT-BVHTT of December 5, 1998 amending and supplementing Article 5 of Circular No.37/VHTT-TT.
- The Ministry of Culture and Information’s Official Dispatch No.82/BC of January 9, 1997.
- The Ministry of Culture and Information’s Official Dispatch No.3176/BC of September 29, 1997.
Other regulations previously promulgated by the Ministry of Culture and Information which are contrary to this Circular are now annulled.
Article 21.- Enclosed with this Circular are appendices including forms from No.1 to No.3.
THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND INFORMATION
Nguyen Khoa Diem