CCTV March 15 Gala was started in 1991 and has been successfully held for 30 times. Once a media said: “the people most like to see the Spring Festival party, the people most want to see the March 15 party. As a show close to the life of the audience, for 30 years, the CCTV March 15 Gala has exposed the illegal and chaotic situation of many industries, and has had a personal impact on consumers.
Medical, health and food safety are “hard-hit areas”
Over the past three decades, the consumer scene has been shifting, and so has the theme of the March 15 gala. From “Friends of Consumers” in 1991, to “For Rural Consumers” in 1998, and to “Booking Consumption, Starting from the Heart” in 2021, the theme changes of the March 15 gala can also give us a sense of the different problems faced by consumers in different times.
Based on public data, we have compiled more than 130 pieces of information from the March 15 gala over the past 30 years, covering 16 related industries, including food safety, medicine and health care, real estate, and home appliances. Among them, medical and health care and food safety are the “worst-hit areas” exposed, exposed for 21 times and 20 times respectively.
In food safety, in 2012, McDonald’s excess meat products in the incubator to continue to sell caused by public opinion waves; In 2016, the Ele. me scandal brought hygiene problems in the food delivery industry to the attention of consumers. In 2020, the fast-food giant Burger King was caught using expired buns and changing the date of its chicken steaks.
Compared with the food safety problem, the drug problem appears to be more alarming, inferior fraud, false publicity and so on occur from time to time, every exposure of the problem is related to the life safety of consumers.
In 2004, the March 15 gala exposed the abuse of antibiotics: it caused many children to lose their hearing in Guangzhou; Yang Xiaoxia’s black spot on her right thumb in Shandong province continued to fester, and a teenage girl had to have her leg amputated.
In 1993, in a village where orange trees were the main cash crop, a large number of orange trees died due to the use of fake and inferior pesticides. In 1994, substandard pesticides were named again, and this time they led to multiple hospitalizations and the deaths of farmers who inhaled too much during spraying.
The March 15 gala in 1998 even had the theme “For Rural Consumers”. At the gala, a green feed shredder made by a factory in Yunnan province was exposed, which caused 2,000 farmers to have their fingers and palms cut off due to design defects.
State-owned enterprises, private enterprises, foreign companies have pit, Volkswagen “incorrigible”
In the past 30 years, both international companies and large domestic enterprises with a market value of more than one trillion yuan and local private enterprises have stepped onto the “stage” of March 15.
Most of these big companies only attend the party once, except for Volkswagen. Volkswagen has been on the list three times since 2013, making it the most frequently cited company. However, such frequent exposure does not have a significant negative impact on the sales volume of Volkswagen in China. Volkswagen is still one of the best-selling automobile brands in China, which is “spoiled and arrogant”.
Notably, this year also saw the industry climb to third place in terms of the cumulative number of problems exposed over the past three decades. Problems such as big cheating of 4S stores, poor quality of cars and high speed loss of control frequently appear in the party of March 15, and also in our daily life.
These problems cannot be separated from the social background of the continuous growth of car ownership in China. According to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2004, when the automobile problem first appeared on the stage of March 15, the number of civilian vehicles in China was only 26.937100, but by 2020, the number has reached 280 million, more than 10 times that of 2004.
Information leakage and advertising harassment become persistent diseases
In addition, the problem of information leakage and advertising harassment has also been persistent for 30 years.
From the beginning of the phone problem to the back of the spam messages, and then to today’s Internet advertising, this kind of problem is not due to the progress of science and technology “extinction”, on the contrary, it with science and technology evolution, from traditional telecom companies such as China unicom, China telecom, the encyclopedia, boring headlines, such as the Internet platform, constant complaints and reports, and so one after another on the list.
Our information has been exposed many times, and the phone calls have been ringing for nearly two decades.
Many consumption problems persist, and with the development of time, they have different forms and gather in different fields. At the same time, consumers’ consumption concept and related punishment measures are also gradually strengthened. The March 15 gala saw the first implementation of the Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Law in 1994, and the launch of the Food Safety Law in 2009. However, it is clear that the related consumption problems have not been put an end to because of the emergence of relevant regulations. After 2009, there are still many food safety problems have been exposed.
In this case, the fundamental reason is the lack of merchants’ sense of responsibility. Only when businesses are aware of their social responsibilities can consumers “consume in the sunshine”.