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China bans ads during TV drama shows

China has banned advertisements during broadcasts of TV dramas in an effort as part of a culture boost.

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A Chinese national flag waves near a giant communist emblem at Tiananmen Square on June 28, 2011 in Beijing, China. This year's celebrations will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

China on Monday banned advertisements during broadcasts of TV dramas in an effort to "to unify thinking,” Reuters reported.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) announced on its website that, from January 1 next year, adverts will not be allowed during programs lasting for 45 minutes or longer.

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The move comes after a meeting of the Communist Party Central Committee, which reportedly focused on ways to boost culture.

The SARFT announcement said:

"Radio and television are important mouthpieces of the party and the people and are important battlefields in publicity and ideology. They bear important responsibilities in the public cultural service system, they must fully play up their advantages and earnestly perform their duties."

An SARFT spokesman told the state-run news agency Xinhua that authorities wanted to force TV shows conform to "public interests and aspirations," the BBC reported.

Chinese broadcasters say the move to ban the ads will result in a loss of revenue.

The BBC quoted an unnamed television executive saying: "The government could really take our lives if it bans all commercial breaks during the most-watched TV series."

The TV advertising industry in China last year was reportedly worth nearly 500 billion yuan, or $78 billion.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/111129/china-bans-ads-tv-dramas