Gov’t Won’t Reveal Cost Of CNN Ad

The Minister of Tourism has decided to keep secret the cost of broadcasting a 30-second commercial promoting the Water Festival on the US television news network CNN.

Tourism Minister Lay Prohas would only say that the advertisement itself cost less than $1,000 to make and CNN agreed to give the country an 85 percent discount on the spots when Cam­bodia hosted the Asean Tourism Forum last year.

“The people at CNN have been very good,” Lay Prohas said  Monday. “It’s like they gave it away for free.”

The spot, which will air 111 times, began running Nov 20 and will continue to run through Saturday, the last day of the festival. It is set to music and features footage from last year’s Water Festival, the National Museum and the city at night. It ends with an invitation to visit the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Lay Prohas, who oversaw production of the commercial, said he had been hoping to promote the country on CNN since he took over as tourism minister more than three months ago.

He said he woke up early to watch the first ad run at 6:50 am on Nov 20 and was amazed at how the final product turned out.

“I’m very pleased by it,” he said. “Looking at the quality, it can really mingle with the international ads.”

Moeung Sonn, president of the National Association of Tourism Enterprise, said he had not seen the ad. He said advertising abroad is a good idea, but he thought the money would have been better spent on less costly media.“They only advertise for one week,” he said.

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay, who also hadn’t seen the spot, said spending the money on improving medical services and in­frastructure for tourists would generate good word-of-mouth advertising, which would be much more effective.“I think they should be putting money into improving services instead of on CNN,” he said

Lay Prohas said next year he will promote Angkor Wat and Siem Reap.

The following year will feature the coastal areas.


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