Illegal ads now mostly online: authorities

More than 70 percent of last year's illegal ads were online, so authorities are using big data and intelligent monitoring technologies to spot breaches in a more efficient manner.

More than 70 percent of last year's illegal advertisements were Internet ads, so authorities are using big data and intelligent monitoring technologies to spot breaches in a more efficient manner, the city's market watchdog said on Tuesday.

Construction materials and hardware, jewelry, cleaning products and clothing ads online have become "hotbeds of irregularity," the Shanghai Industry and Commerce Administration said.

In 2017, the administration monitored 683 suspected illegal ads involving these items, and as many as 90 percent of them were detected on the Internet.

Illegal ads involving exaggeration of product function and promotion of disease prevention and treatment were often seen in these fields, the administration added.

On the other hand, there was a decrease in the number of illegal ads involving the medical industry, including health products, medicines, and medical instruments, due to strengthened crackdowns.

Internet ads accounted for 60 percent of total advertising in Shanghai last year, compared with 22 percent in 2011.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Advertisement Monitoring Center affiliated to the administration is using intelligent monitoring technologies and big data analysis to monitor illegal ads. Its monitoring covers about 2.6 million ads per year, and can spot the source of an illegal ad in as little as 60 seconds.

The center widely uses automatic acoustic comparison, image rapid remake, simulation browsing and unstructured text recognition technologies based on different media features — it has achieved an average monitoring rate of 19 advertisements every minute.

Special Reports
Top