Famed TV host Li Yong may be about to face a hard time as the ambassador for
a flooring product, a role regarded as defying the code for China's TV hosts.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television released a
self-discipline pact for anchormen and hosts in 2005, strictly preventing them
from taking part in any commercial activities and warning those tempted to
violate the pact with the threat of expulsion from the industry.
Li Yong, a host from China's Central Television, was not only pictured
promoting the Sunyard flooring product alongside some 18 beautiful models last
September, but billboards bearing his image can now be seen across many cities
His pictures with the 18 models are widely available on the internet with the
logo of the company clearly visible. But, Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News
reports, Li Yong's wife, also his publicist Ha Wen, is trying to justify the
pictures, saying that though he did indeed attend such an activity, he never
formally participated in a commercial for the product.
The company, however, totally denies Ha's claim. The Zhejiang Shiyou Timber
Co. Ltd confirmed Li Yong's official ambassadorship. A lady with the company,
surnamed Shen, told reporters that Li Yong has been their ambassador for almost
a year and they enjoy very close cooperation, adding that the company will
extend the contract with him for another year.
CCTV's disciplinary inspection department have said they know nothing about
the incident but have vowed to carry out an investigation.
However, when Xinmin Evening News attempted a second interview with the
company, their request was refused. CCTV, meanwhile, have reiterated that they
will inform the press if there is anything the press should know.
The strict rule forbidding any commercial involvement has forced a couple of
famous hosts to leave CCTV. Those best-known include Wen Qing and Zhao Lin, both
of whom used to be the hostesses of Life, a popular show on CCTV 2.
They are now to be found working in TV dramas.