Decree No. 194-CP dated December 31, 1994 of the Government on advertising activities on Vietnamese territory
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness
Hanoi, December 31, 1994
ON ADVERTISING ACTIVITIES ON VIETNAMESE TERRITORY
Pursuant to the Law on Organization of the Government on the 30th of September, 1992;
Pursuant to the Press Law on the 2nd of January, 1990;
With a view to creating conditions for organizations and individuals in all economic sectors to expand and develop production-business-services and cultural and social activities; protecting the interests of consumers; ensuring social order and safety, protecting landscapes and the environment, and protecting the cultural identity of the nation;
With a view to bringing advertising activities into order and into conformity with law;
At the proposal of the Minister of Culture and Information;
Article 1.- Advertising activities comprise the broad presentation and announcements on businesses, commodities, services, trade-marks, names and logos as required by the activities of the production-business-service establishments.
The information activities of the agencies of the Party, State and social organizations aimed at disseminating and popularizing the policies, undertakings and laws are not covered by this Decree.
Article 2.- The State shall create favorable conditions for all organizations and individuals to undertake advertising activities. All organizations and individuals engaged in advertising activities must strictly abide by the law in force.
Article 3.- The State exercises unified management of advertising activities. All acts of obstructing the lawful advertising activities. All acts of obstructing the lawful advertising activities and all acts of misusing advertisement in any form which damage the interests of the State, society and citizens are strictly prohibited.
FORMS, MEANS AND SCOPE OF ADVERTISEMENT
Article 4.- Advertisement can be carried out by the voice, writing, signals, photos, paintings, sound and other forms targeted at the broad public.
1. The contents of an advertisement are the information which the owner wishes to convey to the broad public. They must be accurate, truthful and correctly reflect the properties, effect and quality of the commodity, service or the need of operation of the production-business-service establishments already recognized by the authorized State agency.
2. The contents of an advertisement must be clear, easily understood, free from confusion and must conform with the Vietnamese culture and lifestyle in general and the characteristics of each locality in particular.
3. The voice or the written language in an advertisement must be the spoken or written language of Vietnam, except:
a/ Books, newspapers and other publications which are allowed to be published in foreign languages;
b/ Radio and television programs in foreign languages;
c/ Trade-marks written in abbreviations or in foreign languages. The international contact name of the production-business-service establishment authorized by the competent State agency. Terms already internationalized or terms which cannot be replaced by Vietnamese.
d/ If both Vietnamese and a foreign language are used in the advertisement:
- The Vietnamese version must be written firs, on the upper part of the ad and with a bigger size than the foreign language.
- The Vietnamese version must be read first.
Article 6.- The following contents and forms of advertisement are strictly prohibited:
1. Contrary to Vietnamese law, harmful to the dignity, the fine customs and habits, health and the polite manners of the Vietnamese, disclosing national secrets, untrue to the registered quality of the goods, disparaging other persons or their goods.
2. Using the national flag, the national anthem or emblem, portraits of leaders, the flag of the Party or the International as background for the advertisement.
3. Having the presentation, shapes and colors similar to traffic signals or public notice bards, or having an unclear or uncomely presentation.
4. Advertising for the commodities banned from business or having their consumption restricted by the State within given periods.
5. Advertising for the newspapers and literary and art works not yet licensed for publication, distribution or performance.
6. Advertising for pharmaceutical materials and products, cosmetics, medical appliances and other medical activities before the authorized medical agency issues permits.
7. Making false advertisement, having a damaging effect on the interests of the nation, an organization or an individual.
8. Advertising on the front page, the first page of newspapers, magazines, special issues or supplements.
9. Integrating advertisement with the contents of news and articles, alternating advertisement with the current affairs programs and other special programs over the radio and on the television, except the relayed programs from foreign stations.
10. Outdoor advertisements affecting traffic safety, hiding traffic signs or restricting the sight of the drivers of means of transport, and pedestrians, causing difficulties to the prevention and fight against fire, or affecting the aesthetic values of architectures or the landscapes and environment.
11. Advertisements bills or boards set up, installed, hung, posted up or assembled at the following places:
- Places hung with portraits of leaders and political slogans.
- Areas where the offices of State managerial agencies at various levels are located.
- Areas of diplomatic offices and protocol offices of the State.
- Squares in cities, public parks, national parks, historical relic areas, military areas, and classified cultural buildings of the State.
- Museums, schools, hospitals, cemeteries, communal houses, temples, pagodas and churches.
- Places where documents of the State are posted up for public notice.
- Advertisements which are placed in front of or hiding earlier advertisements before expiry of their permits.
- Advertisements strung across water and land transport lines or along expressways.
12. Advertisements using too loud sounds are banned from 23.00 hrs till 4.00 hrs in the morning.
Article 7.- The means of advertisements are instruments by which the advertisement is carried out. They comprise:
1. Newspapers, magazines, supplements, bulletins, special issues, books, advertising folders, leaflets and other printed and copied matters.
2. Television programs, radio programs, advertising films, advertising music and other advertising audio-visual tapes and disks.
3. Logos and billboards of the organizations and individuals engaged in production-business-services; advertising panels and posters on fixed and mobile objects, on transport means, or on clothes, hats, caps, handbags and other containers.
4. Illuminating objects, airborne objects, sales agents, places where products, foods and beverages are offered as samples, gifts are distributed or presented, and samples are displayed; fashion shows, exhibitions of commodities, and entertainments and sport sponsoring events accompanied with advertisements.
Article 8.- Time frame, area and scope of advertisement:
1. The maximum time limit for advertisement is defined as followed:
a/ An advertising period in a daily must not exceed five days. An advertising period on the television must not exceed eight days and must not be broadcast more than five times a day. Over the radio it must not exceed five days and must not be broadcast more than ten times a day.
b/ The space covered by advertisements must not exceed 10% of the total coverage of the printed press; the time devoted to advertisement programs must not exceed 5% of the whole time of the radio and television program.
A supplement to a newspaper or an additional canal on the radio or television exclusively for advertising purpose must get the previous permission from the press management agency. The price of a newspaper or magazine must not be raised due to the increase in the number of advertising pages.
c/ The time limit for an outdoor advertisement must not exceed one year. On expiry of the term, the owner of the advertisement or the advertising organization must apply for extension and can renew the advertisement only after the request is accepted.
d/ The forms of advertisement stated at Items 3 and 4 of Article 7 shall have to comply with the permit from the culture and information service as to the place and duration of the advertisement.
CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURES OF ADVERTISING ACTIVITIES
1. The owner of the advertisement is an individual or an organization having the need of advertisement and must fill the following conditions:
- It must have a business permit if it is a production-business-service establishment.
- The commodity to be advertised must have a certificate of standard quality issued by the authorized agency of Vietnam.
- The trademark and logo of the merchandise, the name of the production-business-service establishment which wishes to be advertised must have a certificate of registration in Vietnam issued by the authorized agency of Vietnam.
2. The owner of an advertisement shall be answerable before law for the truthfulness and accuracy of the contents of the advertisement.
Article 10.- The advertiser is an individual or organization who carries out all or part of the advertising activities as requested by the advertisement owner.
1. The advertiser must fill the following conditions:
a/ He must have a permit for advertisement business issued by the authorized agency.
b/ He must have an operating permit issued by the authorized agency.
- A State-owned business which wants to engage in the advertising service must abide by the regulations in Decree No.388-HDBT of the 20th of November 1991 issued by the Council of Ministers (now the Government).
- A private company or business which wants to engage in advertisement business must abide by the regulations of the Corporate Law and the Law on Private Businesses;
- A business household with a capital below the level required for a legal capital and which wants to engage in advertising business, must abide by the regulations in Decree No. 66-HDBT of the 2nd of March 1992 issued by the Council of Ministers (now the Government) and the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Information.
2. The advertiser can operate only in the locality where he has his office. He must have the permit of the Ministry of Culture and Information if he wants to extend his advertising activities beyond the boundary of this territory.
The advertiser must have a professional standard, the necessary means and places of transaction and of operation.
3. The advertiser shall have to ask the owner of the advertisement to produce papers related to the accuracy and truthfulness of the contents of the advertisement before he does his job, and is responsible before law for the realization of these contents.
The relations between the owner of the advertisement and the advertiser are based on contracts.
Article 11.- The State-owned businesses at the central agencies and in the provinces or cities directly under the Central Government, which want to engage in the advertising business, must have an operating permit from the Ministry of Culture and Information.
A private company or a private business and a business household with a capital below the level required for a legal capital, which wants to engage in the advertising business, must have an operating permit from the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Article 12.- The dossier to apply for a permit shall comprise:
1. An application for advertisement (according to the unified form issued by the Ministry of Culture and Information).
2. A notarized copy of the production-business-service permit.
3. A copy of the certificate of the quality standard of the commodity, a copy of the certificate of registration of the trade mark, the name and logo, all of which must be notarized.
4. If the advertiser is also the applicant, he must attach to the application a notarized copy of the contract between him and the owner of the advertisement.
5. The dossier shall be submitted to the agency which is to issue the permit.
Article 13.- With regard to the advertisements by panels, posters, fixed or mobile signs, besides the papers mentioned in Article 12, the dossier must also include:
- A sketch of the place where the advertisement is to be installed according to the local development program, certified by the Culture and Information Section of the district or township which manages the territory.
- A model of the advertisement;
- The contract between the advertiser and the person who is owning or using the place and means of advertisement.
Article 14.- The advertiser, the mass media engaged in advertising business, and the renter of the place of advertisement have to:
1. Pay tax according to law;
2. Pay the fee permit of advertisement as prescribed by the State.
The tax and fee have to be remitted to the State budget.
Article 15.- Twenty days at the latest after receipt of the duly made dossier, the agency authorized to issue the advertisement permit shall issue the permit. If not, it must state the reason and send a written reply to the applicant.
Fifteen days after the signing of the permit, if the recipient does not carry out the advertisement, the permit shall lose its validity (except special cases when he has to wait for the approval of the permit-issuing agency).
In case of complaint, the complaint shall be handled by the permit-issuing agency. The complainant may refer to a higher competent State agency if he finds the settlement unsatisfactory.
ADVERTISEMENT FOR FOREIGN-MADE COMMODITIES AND WHEN THE OWNER OF ADVERTISEMENT IS NOT A VIETNAMESE JURIDICAL PERSON
Article 16.- All advertising activities for foreign goods or services in Vietnam, in which the owner of the advertisement is not a juridical person of Vietnam, must be conducted according to a contract with an advertiser of Vietnam.
The advertiser for foreign goods or services must abide by the procedures stipulated at Chapter III of this Decree.
Article 17.- Any commodities made in foreign countries which want to be advertised in Vietnam must fill the following conditions:
1. It has been granted a permit of import into Vietnam;
2. Its trademark and logo have been registered for industrial property at the manufacturing country or in Vietnam;
3. It must have a certificate of quality standard of the manufacturing country or of Vietnam;
4. If it is a pharmaceutical product or material, cosmetics, or a medical appliance, it must have the permit of the Ministry of Public Health of Vietnam.
STATE MANAGEMENT OF ADVERTISING ACTIVITIES
Article 18.- The Ministry of Culture and Information is the State management agency of advertising activities throughout the country. It has the following tasks and powers:
1. To help the Government formulate and issue legal documents on advertisement.
2. To coordinate with the concerned services in providing detailed guidance on the advertising activities.
3. To inspect and handle the violations.
4. To issue permits for advertising activities to the central agencies and the advertising organizations throughout the country, and allow foreign advertisements to be conducted in Vietnam (the People's Committees in the provinces and cities shall provide for the concrete places and forms of advertisement).
Article 19.- The People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government shall issue permits for advertising activities by the local agencies, and carry out State management of advertisement in their territories.
Article 20.- The directors of the publishing houses, radio and television stations, the editors-in-chief of the newspapers and magazines which have advertising activities must strictly observe the provisions of this Decree.
INSPECTION AND HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
Article 21.- The specialized inspector of the Culture and Information Service shall organize the inspection and the handling of violations in the domain of advertisement.
Article 22.- The owner of advertisement and the head of the advertising organization who violate the provisions in this Decree shall, depending on the extent of the damage to the interests of the consumers, the producers, business and service people, be subjected to administrative sanctions or investigated for penal liability, and to pay compensations as prescribed by law.
Article 23.- The persons responsible for State management of advertisement who violate the provisions in this Decree shall, depending on the extent of the violation, be disciplined, receive administrative sanctions or be investigated for penal liability.
Article 24.- The outdoor advertisements, either fixed or mobile, which do not clearly publicize the number of the permit, the time-limit or the name of the owner of the advertisement, shall be dismantled, and the owner of the advertisement shall have to bear all the cost.
Article 25.- This Decree takes effect as from the date of its signing.
All the earlier regulations on advertisement contrary to this Decree are now annulled.
Article 26.- The Ministry of Culture and Information shall coordinate with concerned branches to direct the implementation of this Decree.
Article 27.- The ministers, the heads of ministerial-level agencies and of the agencies attached to the Government, the presidents of the People's Committees in the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government shall have to implement this Decree.
FOR THE GOVERNMENT
Vo Van Kiet