Ad bans at issue

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Prospects for TV ad bans appear to be strengthening in Europe while suffering a major setback in Asia. The European Commission's legal action begun in 1994 to force Greece to lift its ban against toy ads on TV may be shelved at a July 15 meeting. "According to commission procedures, if a case has been on the books for three years and officials find no new details to the affair to continue, an investigation is dropped,'' said a spokesman for Greek Commissioner Christos Papoutis. "Greece is not pushing for closure of the case, and it is up to [Commissioner Mario] Monti to decide whether to continue with an investigation or not.'' If Greece's ban is allowed to continue, there are concerns it could spread to other member countries, particularly in the Nordic region. In Indonesia, the government lifted an almost 20-year-old ban on advertising on the state-run Televisi Republik Indonesia, allowing the national channel to generate more revenue amid a shrinking state budget.

Copyright July 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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