The World: Beijing - China deals another blow to the tobacco industry

China is set to extend its restrictions on tobacco advertising, amid reports that it will ban it completely by 2011.

The ban covered most above-the-line media channels when it was introduced 11 years ago, but the manufacturers have become adept at sidestepping the regulations with promotions, sponsorships and print campaigns.

Anna Fan, Guangdong Advertising's director of media planning, said it was expected the ban would mainly affect mainland-based tobacco companies that still advertised in newspapers.

"They are using other channels to promote themselves, which includes diversifying product ranges," she added.

Maggie Choi, the Omnicom Media Group Greater China managing director, said: "Tobacco is certainly not one of the top categories among spenders."