All media outlets have until January 9 to cease advertising prizes or lucky draws associated with alcohol products and those that fail to comply will have their licences removed, according to an announcement obtained by the Post yesterday.
The announcement, signed by Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, states that the ban on advertising prizes related to alcohol products is to reduce traffic accidents and violence, which are having a detrimental effect on Cambodian society.
“In case a media outlet does not follow this announcement, the Ministry of Information will completely stop advertising for that product, and if they are still obstinate, the ministry will take the media’s licence,” the letter says.
The warning, applying to all media including radio, television, newspapers, magazines and billboards, appears to be an answer to the failure of alcohol companies to comply with previous instructions from the ministry to place warnings on their products.
“The Ministry of Information still sees all media do not respect the prime minister and Ministry of Information’s order yet,” the announcement says. “They did not put the words ‘If driving, don’t drink, or when drunk, don’t drive’ on their products.
“Now there is advertising for encouraging prizes or lucky draws to attract the people, especially youths, to purchase and consume more alcohol, and that causes increasing traffic accidents and violence.”
San Putheary, director of the Ministry of Information’s audio-visual department, said yesterday television channels had been responsive in posting the “If drunk, don’t drive” slogan on alcohol advertising.
“We don’t ban them from advertising. They just have to have the slogan,” he said.
“But we do ban them from advertising prizes to encourage drinking.”
Cambodian Television Network presenter Ung Ratha said on Sunday there would be an end to the popular weekly prize draw for Randonal wine.
“We respect the announcement of the Ministry of Information to stop providing, or having, lucky draws for alcohol clients — so you all don’t wonder why we stop having that program any more,” Ung Ratha said.