Vietnam determinedly eliminates inappropriate ads on cyberspace

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) yesterday held a meeting on the state of advertising activities on the Internet in Vietnam. The meeting introduced feasible solutions to ensure a healthy and sustainable cyberspace in the country.

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The meeting on the state of advertising activities on the Internet in Vietnam. (Photo: SGGP)


Director Le Quang Tu Do of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (under MIC) informed that a large number of advertisements in Vietnam are now attached with harmful content (against the Party, untruthful, obscene) in order to attract more views. Except for major brand names like Vinamilk or Nestle, which always apply strict regulations in contracts with advertising agencies, normal businesses just give a demand on the quantity of views. That gives way for unhealthy advertisements.

He stressed that among 6 advertising businesses in Vietnam, only one is running a filter for malicious content. Therefore, even though functional agencies have continuously checked and handled law violations on advertising activities, the situation is not much improved. 15 advertising-related organizations have been fined with VND210 million (US$8,500). 73 law-violating websites have been announced.

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Director Le Quang Tu Do of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information is delivering his speech. (Photo: SGGP)

Director Do said that the primary reason for this law breaking is that foreign advertising service providers have not seriously observed the Vietnamese law. For instance, YouTube and Facebook allow their users to freely post illegal content with the monetization functions. In addition, the technical tools to monitor advertisement content are not so effective. Finally, as advertising agencies neither frequently update their blacklist nor install bad-content filtering software, they intentionally let the harmful information appear along with regular advertising one for more profit.

In the upcoming time, managing units are going to handle any foreign advertising service providers that do not announce their contact information as stipulated in Decree No.70/2021/ND-CP (effective as of September 15, 2021 to amend and supplement certain articles in Decree No.181/2013/ND-CP on implementing the Advertising Law).

As to businesses that do not have their server located in Vietnam, MIC is going to work with telecoms network carriers to verify and punish violations. Functional units are going to increase checking and handling law breaking cases related to advertising on the cyberspace, to publicly announce a list of offenders with a warning of not working with them, to check used-to-be law breakers more regularly, and to introduce a whitelist of reliable platforms on the cyberspace in Vietnam for businesses to contact for advertising purposes.

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Popular violations of the advertising law on the Internet in Vietnam at present. (Photo: the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information)

Huynh Long Thuy from Dat Viet Advertising Co. shared that advertisements on social networks are quite popular as they can easily attract a large number of viewers. Therefore, service providers have to monitor the advertising content continuously to eliminate bad content.

Representatives from Techcombank said that advertisements on digital platforms have been prioritized by businesses, and that this organization always pays much attention to observing the Advertising Law.

Vice Chairwoman of Vietnam Advertising Association Nguyen Thu Giang mentioned that there are certain subjects who purposedly spend money to spread ill content on social networks. She then asked that MIC adopt suitable solutions to effectively erase that. Representatives of Vinamilk and other large corporations agree with this proposal, saying that MIC should create a legal corridor for business to run their advertisements.

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Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam is making his presentation. (Photo: SGGP)

To conclude the meeting, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam said that to offer a healthier environment for advertising services and protect brand names hiring these services, MIC will continue to implement more practical measures to promote advertising on platforms that strictly obey the Vietnamese law, especially domestic digital platforms.

He stressed that advertising agencies must maintain their prestige by observing applicable laws in the country. MIC is going to cooperate with related ministries, state agencies, and the localities to inspect and seriously handle violations, be they of domestic or foreign advertising companies. International service providers will not be allowed to operate in Vietnam if they do not obey the national laws.

MIC has already published a whitelist of reliable platforms on the cyberspace in Vietnam, consisting of certified e-newspapers, e-magazines, information websites, social networks. This list is continuously expanded after newly registered websites, accounts, content channels are approved by MIC.

"MIC encourages advertising service providers to contact organizations in this whitelist for advertising purposes as this list is diverse and safe enough to suit all kinds of advertising needs”, said Deputy Minister Lam.