Briefing: Viral ‘Dad Sharing’ WeChat mini program may violate advertising law

By Emma Lee
1 min read

欧派营销竟推“共享爸爸” 律师:既违法还挑战公序良俗 – Eastday

What happened: A WeChat mini program named “Dad Sharing” has gone viral on the mega chatting app after its release on Tuesday. An accompanying five-minute video advertises a service that allows busy users to rent another, more “professional,” father figure when the actual parent can’t be there for important family moments. Key moments shown in the video include childbirth and parent-teacher meetings. Chinese furniture maker Oppein, the company behind the mini-program, clarified later that this is only a “well-intended” marketing tactic aimed at promoting family values. It sparked online controversy and at present the mini-program cannot be accessed.

Why it’s important: The ride-sharing boom in China has triggered a “sharing economy” craze in the country where nearly everything became shareable from bikes to basketballs, washing machines, umbrellas, and even beds. The dad-sharing model received mixed reactions online. While some netizens sympathized with the parenting dilemma reflected in the video, others felt cheated that the company wasn’t actually offering a dad-sharing service.  A lawyer from Chengdu, Sichuan province told local media that the advertisement likely violates relevant provisions of the advertising law for promoting a service that it’s not offering. At the same time, the concept also challenges public morals.