Chinese actress Jing Tian was slapped with a million-dollar fine for breaching China's advertising law by touting candies as a weight-loss drug.
Jing has been a brand ambassador for Infinite Free, a Guangzhou-based firm that claims their fruit and vegetable candies can prevent the body from absorbing carbohydrates, oils, and fats.
In the ads, which have since been pulled from e-commerce sites such as Alibaba's Taobao and JD.com, the 33-year-old actress said that people could keep in shape by taking two "candies" after eating a meal.
The local regulator in Guangzhou imposed a 7.22 million yuan (RM4.74mil) fine on May 28, saying ordinary food cannot be claimed to have therapeutic effects under the advertising law.
The State Administration for Market Regulation said it supported the decision in a follow-up statement, adding that market regulators nationwide should step up supervision of celebrities' advertising activities.
One of China's most popular film stars, Vicki Zhao Wei, was blacklisted from the nation's Internet, and actress Zheng Shuang was ordered to pay 299 million yuan in overdue taxes, late fees and fines.
Jing, who raked in 2.6 million yuan in "illegal income" from the endorsement, apologised on the Twitter-like Weibo platform, saying she did not do enough due diligence when she signed her contract.
"I'll never advertise for any product in this category in future to prevent this from happening again. – Bloomberg