Vietnam ad law recognises advertising self-regulation


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The Vietnamese national Assembly has adopted a new framework law on advertising this month, which will set qualitative and quantitative rules for advertising, as well as establishing relevant control and enforcement mechanisms. Following months of intensive negotiations (including significant input from WFA and its members and in close collaboration with Food Industry Asia) the law as adopted reflects many important changes advocated by the marketing industry on the basis of international good practice.

Most importantly, the law no longer requires pre-clearance for each advertisement, but formally recognises the establishment of a self-regulatory organisation, the Advertising Professional Association, which is mandated to develop an industry code of conduct and requested to take part in an Advertising Appraisal Council, a body that will be tasked with providing copy advice on request.

The number and type of restrictions in the law have also been reduced. The law bans tobacco advertising, advertising for alcoholic beverages above 15% abv, breast milk substitutes and prescription medicines. However, it does not contain any other significant category restrictions or restrictions on advertising to children. Rather, it reflects internationally accepted provisions for honest, legal, truthful and non-misleading advertising.

The new law will take effect as of 1 January 2013. A copy of an English translation is available here.

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