China's commerce authorities have cracked down on illegal online sex-related advertisements, by blacklisting102 websites, following a nationwide campaign to clear the media of such information.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), which checks the advertising industry, has instructed its local bureaus to investigate each of the cases.
According to the Beijing Times, 54 sites have already been closed, while 33 have already dispensed with the offending ads, reports China Daily.
Along with 11 other ministries, SAIC has launched a campaign in September targeting illegal ads for drugs and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases.
The SAIC stated that by the end of last year, 21,339 advertisements on 6,090 websites were inspected, of which around 11,122 have been banned completely.
Though SAIC did not provide any absolute figures, they revealed that there has been a fivefold increase in the value of the industry between 1995 and 2006, while the number of people working in the sector has doubled.
Zhou Bohua, head of the SAIC, said at the Fifth National Advertising Industry Conference that despite its success, the public remains skeptical of the advertising industry.
As per the guidelines of a new measure listed at the conference, the Chinese Advertising Association will be monitoring advertisements in selected parts of the country and issue warnings to advertisers whose messages have a negative social impact.