Tobacco Industry Tops List of TV, Newspaper Advertisers

The tobacco industry was the leading advertiser in television and newspapers in 1997, according to a report on media advertising in Cambodia.

Money from tobacco ads made up about one-fifth of television and newspaper advertising revenue, according to The Cam­bodia Media Monitor, a monthly report which tracks advertising on television and in newspapers for business clients.

The tobacco industry spent more than $600,000 last year in print and approximately $3.3 million on television advertising in 1997, the report said.

“Tobacco advertising is crucial to television stations,” said Jared Hayes, senior project manager at International Management and Investment Consultants Ltd, the company which produces the media report. “It makes up a large part of television earnings in Cambodia.”

Almost one-third of state-owned television station TVK-7’s advertising revenue comes from tobacco companies, according to the director of TVK.

A subdecree banning advertising on television, newspapers and billboards was drafted by the government in 1995 but has not been upon. If passed, the decree could be a major setback for television stations, newspapers and billboard owners.

“We need this revenue, but we won’t take it if there is a law banning cigarette advertising,” said Mao Ayuth, director of TVK.

Tobacco advertising has tripled since 1995, research by Invest­ment Consultants showed. The next top advertisers for 1997 on television are beer, pharmaceuticals and restaurants respectively.

Tobacco company representatives are currently trying to determine how they will meet a deadline imposed by the Ministry of Health earlier this month. Dr Dy Narong Nith, secretary of state for the Ministry of Health, repeated an order to cigarette companies last week that they have until July to put health warnings on their packets.

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