Norway's TV2 to remove latent ads from Pokemon program

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OSLO - Norwegian commercial TV station TV2 has acknowledged a royalty agreement for the sale of Pokemon merchandise in Norway and will now edit out segments of the Pokemon TV program considered to be latent advertising.

Consumer groups in Norway have accused portions of the Pokemon program of being thinly disguised gimmicks to market related products to children.

TV2 denied it had intentionally or deliberately pursued a policy of hidden advertising, but agreed to remove the presentation of a Pokemon figure in the middle of each episode, and the concluding "Pokemon-rap" for all future Pokemon programing broadcast by the station.

In Sweden, the TV regulatory authority is considering a complete ban on Pokemon from the country's TV channels, on the basis that the cartoon violates national laws banning advertising aimed at children. A decision is expected in September.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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