On 21 March 2023, the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) under the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) released a white list specifying local service providers whose online websites and/or social networks are verified and suitable for online advertisements (“White List“). This is part of ABEI’s initiative to encourage brands and advertisers to prioritize displaying advertisements on non-violating websites.
- After the release of blacklisted websites in December 2022, on which third-party advertisements are strictly prohibited, ABEI followed up with a White List specifying three groups of local service providers whose websites are eligible for displaying third-party advertisements including (i) licensed press agencies; (ii) licensed aggregated information websites; and (iii) licensed social networks.
- Advertisers are encouraged, but not strictly required, to display advertisements on White List websites.
In more detail
On 20 July 2021, MIC issued Decree No. 70/2021/ND-CP amending certain articles of Decree No. 181/2013/ND-CP implementing the Advertising Law (“Amended Decree 181“). Amended Decree 181 is the main legal document regulating cross-border advertising activities conducted by foreign advertising service providers operating from offshore advertisement publishers and advertisers.
Among other things, Article 13.6 of the Amended Decree 181 requires advertising service providers, advertisement distributors and advertisers not to cooperate in advertisement distribution (e.g., placing or displaying advertisements) with websites marked as violating the law by the competent authorities.
To implement this provision, on 6 December 2022, ABEI issued a blacklist comprising 98 websites that violated Vietnam’s laws. In essence, this list mostly contained illegal gambling and betting-related websites, and websites that illegally broadcast copyrighted sports programs. Please refer to this link for the full blacklist published on ABEI’s portal.
For more detail on Amended Decree 181, please see our client alert here.
More recently, to encourage brands and advertisers to prioritize displaying advertisements on non-violating websites, ABEI has published the White List spreadsheet specifying local service providers whose websites are eligible for displaying third-party advertisements. Contrary to the above blacklist, compliance with the White List is not mandatory.
In particular, the White List spreadsheet contains the three following tabs representing three groups of local service providers that have been verified as suitable for advertisement display:
(i) The first tab names 301 press agencies with their license number(s) and domain name(s) owned by these agencies.
(ii) The second tab includes 1,381 aggregated information websites with their license numbers and links to their websites.
(iii) The third tab includes 953 social networks with their license numbers and links to their websites.
Please note that all listed licenses in the White List are only issued to local press agencies and service providers. Offshore service providers (e.g., offshore social networks provided to Vietnam on a cross-border basis) as regulated under Decree No. 72/2013/ND-CP on the management, provision, and use of Internet services and online information are not subject to these licenses.
Please refer to this link for the full White List as published by ABEI.