Ninh Thị Thu Hương. —Photo laodong.vn
Ninh Thị Thu Hương, director general of the Agency of Grassroots Culture, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, talks to the newspaper Kinh tế & Đô thị
(Economic and Urban Affairs) about her agency's efforts to regulate the advertisement industry.
Under the 2012 Vietnamese Law on Advertisement, the font size of foreign languages must not exceed three-quarters of the Vietnamese text and must be placed below the Vietnamese text. But in many urban areas, the foreign size is bigger than the Vietnamese text. What's going on?
There are several reasons for this problem. For example, some foreign trademarks which have been protected and registered in Việt Nam contain not only their trademarks but also some other contents. That’s why many Vietnamese people have misunderstood that these foreign trademarks have not followed the Vietnamese law. However, in reality, such cases are allowed in accordance with the Vietnamese Law on Advertisement.
In the central coastal city of Nha Trang, most street advertisements are in Russian or Chinese. Meanwhile in Hà Nội, in some streets, billboards are written in Korean or Japanese. What should we do to ensure all billboards are written in Vietnamese?
In 2018, the Agency of Grassroots Culture conducted an inspection mission on billboards in foreign languages in some provinces and cities. Following that mission, many localities have restored law and order in the use of Vietnamese on their billboards. However, in my opinion, concerned authorities should regularly organise joint inspection missions in their localities to ensure our Advertisement Law is upheld.
Do you think that we should develop some model advertisement streets?
We should develop some model streets in our efforts to make our cities more attractive and beautiful. However, the question is how to balance the two perspectives – law abiding and the aesthetic perspective. Of course, a model street should cover many requirements, including the sizes of the advertisements and the written language on the billboards must be Vietnamese.
What is the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism doing in terms of the licensing of advertisement billboards?
Under Circular 04/2018/TT-BXD issued on May 20 by the Ministry of Construction, the language written on billboards could be written in a foreign language if it is the proper name of a project or an enterprise. This is totally in line with Clause 1, Article 18 of the Law on Advertisement.
Has the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism adopted any plan to advise the Government on rules in using Vietnamese in advertisement?
We have a rather comprehensive set of legal documents on advertisement activities. So, what we should focus more on right now is how to put the law into practice, particularly the use of our mother tongue – Vietnamese in the billboards.
We should ask the Việt Nam Advertising Association (VAA) to launch a campaign to uphold the Law on Advertisement. — VNS