Chinese alcohol marketers allowed back on prime time

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BEIJING -- China Central Television (CCTV), the only national TV station in the country, will allow liquor producers to again bid for advertising time during prime-time TV programs next year. Until a few years ago, spirits producers were the perennial top bidders for TV air time. Several national liquor brands were created during the mid-1990s. Following public criticism about promoting spirits during a time of grain shortages, however, CCTV barred liquor ads.

Following a sharp drop in advertising revenues, CCTV has now lifted the ban. The rising number of provincial TV stations broadcasting their programs via satellite is providing an alternative for marketers.

Next year, CCTV is also making its upfront bidding procedure more flexible.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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