Alcohol and cigarette adverts banned

Nov 16, 2009 (DVB), The Burmese government has banned alcohol and cigarette adverts from print media in a move that could significantly damage revenue for Burma's many journals and magazines.

A Rangoon-based journal editor told DVB that the ban is due to start on 1 January 2010. It has been issued by the government's Press Scrutiny and Registration Division [PSRD].

"[The PSRD] said that the print media is to exactly follow the regulation prohibiting any advertisement of alcohol and cigarettes," said the editor.

He added that the majority of weekly journals published in the country relying on those advertisements would be hit hard by the new regulation, while alcohol and cigarette companies on the other hand would find another source of advertisement.

Another news editor said that alcohol companies were likely to now rely on poster advertisements in teashops and restaurants.

While the ban may be good for the health of young Burmese that the adverts normally target, he voiced concern that alcohol producers could still use alternative promotion methods, such as giving away alcohol test samples freely in markets.

Advertisements for alcohol and cigarettes are already banned on billboards and television in Burma which, like most media, is heavily controlled by the government.

There are nearly 200 official magazines and newspapers circulating inside the country, all of which are registered to the PSRD, while all but one television station is wholly owned by the government.

Reporting by Ahunt Phone Myat

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