Chinese airline rises above ad ban

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BEIJING -- Air China, China's leading airline company, is continuing tobroadcast tobacco ads on video during its domestic flights, despite the factthat Chinese law forbids tobacco advertising.

During a flight from Hangzhou to Beijing on October 22, for example,passengers of the giant Boeing 757 airplane - who were not allowed to smoke -were shown an ad for the 555 brand of cigarettes before they were able towatch the inflight entertainment programs.

The ad features the 555 brand as a huge blue planet with many people admiringit and carried the strapline: "Smoothness above all else". Tobacco ads canalso frequently be seen in the inflight magazines of some airline companies.

One of China's biggest cigarette manufacturers also found a way around thetobacco ads ban recently; it placed an ad detailing a change in its factoryname to one that included its most famous brands.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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