return icon

E-newspapers, ad agents urge amending of Advertisement Law

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) will review the Advertisement Law and collect opinions to propose amendments that would allow press agencies to compete with cross-border platforms.



Controversy has occurred recently over the waiting time to close or open an advertisement on digital news publications, which must not exceed 1.5 seconds, stipulated in new Decree 38/2021.

The regulation on the 1.5 second limit on e-newspapers, however, was actually initially set in 2013 in Decree 158/2013.

MCST, which has drafted the documents, said that it has strictly followed all the required procedures stipulated in the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents. However, not everyone covered by the policies were informed about the draft during the opinion collection.

Tran Trong Dung, chair of the HCM City Journalist Association, said that press agencies were not consulted by agencies during the legal document compilation.

Some people wondered why many press agencies did not know about the 1.5 second limit though the limitation has existed for many years.

The reason is that advertisements have not been observing the regulation since that time. In other words, the regulation was not observed. Press agencies have been violating the laws, but they have not been punished.

Research has found that if ads attract attention in the first five seconds, readers can decide whether to continue viewing them.

A study on video ads by Facebook and Nielsen found that 47 percent of the value of a video ad campaign is transmitted within the first three seconds, and 74 percent of the value of a video campaign is transmitted within the first 10 seconds.

When readers watch the first three seconds of a video on Facebook, 65 percent of them watch for at least 10 seconds, and 45 percent watch for 30 seconds.

A survey by Twitter found a close relation between watching a video for the first three seconds and a decision on continuing to watch the video.

Meanwhile, with 1.5 seconds, viewers only have time to open and close. The 1.5 second limit does not allow advertisers to convey enough for viewers to decide whether to skip the ads or continue watching.

Vo Thanh Hai, CEO of Viettel Media, also said that the limit of 1.5 seconds is not enough to convey messages.

Google and Facebook research on viewers’ psychology found that 5-6 seconds was acceptable for viewers before making a decision to turn off or keep on.

If the time is too long, viewers will feel tired of the ads or dislike them, and the effects will be low. If the time is too short, less than 5 seconds, no information will be provided.


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism argues that social networks and YouTube are not press agencies, and that their operation criteria as well as target audiences are also different. The regulations on the ads on social networks should be different from press agencies.

However, experts warn that if state management agencies think this way when creating the legal framework for ad activities, the newspaper business will be crippled.

Newspapers now have to fiercely compete with each other to exist and develop. As public non-business units, newspapers bear stricter regulations than other types of businesses. Press agencies have also been facing difficulties because of Covid-19.

The 1.5 second limit would move advertisements from Vietnam’s newspapers to foreign platforms, where they can run for five seconds or more.

Many newspapers have complained about the 1.5 second limit. Some of the headlines on recent articles in papers include: “Control over ads on newspapers is tightened… do Google, Facebook benefit?” and "The rules of the game eliminate competition”.

Meanwhile, VnExpress commented that the new advertising law sounds death knell for e-newspapers.

Dung of the HCM City Journalist Association warned that Vietnam’s press agencies will “shrink". Nguyen Truong Son, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam Ad Association (VAA), estimated that more than 80 percent ad revenue would fall into the hands of Facebook and Google.

Amendment required


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) will review the Advertisement Law and collect opinions to propose amendments that would allow press agencies to compete with cross-border platforms.


Son said the VAA has urged the Government to amend the advertisement law to create favorable conditions for newspapers and the ad industry.

The ad law has been in effect for 10 years, but no punishment has been imposed on newspapers. Meanwhile, Government Decree 38 has shown the sanctions clearly. However, the 1.5 second limit regulation is unreasonable.

“It would be illegal to not punish press agencies for violating the 1.5 second limitation. But the punishment will create big difficulties for press agencies,” Son said.

In the latest news, MCST on June 1 said it will review the 10-year implementation of the ad law and make proposals on amending the law in 2022.

Dung said that more seminars should be organized for state management agencies, newspapers and advertisers to discuss the problem and suggest solutions to fix it. 

Thai Khang - Ho Van - Du Lam

VN businesses pour money into advertising on social networks

VN businesses pour money into advertising on social networks

Businesses are still spending a lot on advertising on social media and search engines. This trend has yet to change as many Vietnamese companies consider these the main channels to reach customers.

Vietnam’s next-generation social networks seek new approach

Vietnam’s next-generation social networks seek new approach

The next-generation social networks of Vietnam need to be products of the third internet wave, with a commitment to share benefits with users and develop together for users’ benefit.


Experience Hanoi in its autumn glory

Thanks to its geographical location, the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi witnesses contrastingly different weather conditions during the four seasons of the year.


HCYU’s 7th National Congress to be held next week

RoK President hosts State-level welcoming ceremony for Vietnamese counterpart

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc was welcomed in Seoul with a 21-gun salute which is given to a foreign head of state during a State-level visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK).


2022 ASEAN Postal Business Meeting to be held in Binh Dinh

Ministry considering EVN’s proposal for electricity price hikes

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is reviewing Vietnam Electricity's (EVN) proposal to increase electricity prices as rising input cost was weighing on the largest power company with record loss anticipated for this year.

Proper investment needed to develop night-time economy in Vietnam

The night-time economy of major cities in the country has remained underdeveloped due to a lack of proper investment and an absence of a legal framework and policies to promote it, authorities said.

Vietnam's rice exports likely to reach US$3.5 billion this year

Vietnam is anticipated to rake in roughly US$3.5 billion from exporting more than seven million tonnes of rice this year, according to industry insiders.

Local movie to be screened at Australian Vietnamese Film Festival

Vietnamese film "Cô gái từ quá khứ" (Girl from the past) will be introduced at the Australian Vietnamese Film Festival (AVFF) 2022 which is getting underway in Melbourne, Australia.

Auctions for car licence plates to be tested from July 2023

The starting price of a car licence plate put up for auction is VND40 million. The price may increase by increments of VND5 million.

Purpose-led business to drive superior performance

Working and developing a career at an enterprise with a mission towards sustainable development, employees can bring their goals to life.

Vietnam is well-positioned for green hydrogen production

Green hydrogen (GH2) industrial development is a direction for Viet Nam in the energy transition roadmap to achieve the goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050 but challenges remain, experts said.

Vietnamese Ao Dai honoured at Hanoi festival

Young designer Vu Thao Giang introduced a collection of Ao Dai, a traditional long dress of Vietnam, kick-starting the 2022 Hanoi Tourism Ao Dai festival oon December 2.

Entertainment and cultural events of the week (December 5-11)

Upcoming entertainment and cultural events in Vietnam's major cities on December 5-11.

Three belts on the line at 'Fortunes of War' boxing event in Vung Tau

A blockbuster "Fortunes of War" boxing event will bring together Asia's best fighters in 12 bouts, including three title matches, sanctioned by the IBF and WBO on December 10 at The Grand Ho Tram Strip, Ba Ria Vung Tau Province.

Gold items popular with wealthy Vietnamese

Wealthy people in Vietnam are willing to spend money for their villas, ornamental plants and cars.