Thai authorities move to restrict alcohol marketing

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BANGKOK -- Thai authorities are preparing to clamp down on liquor advertising in an attempt to curb the increasing consumption of alcohol by young people.

Possible restrictions include moving the time after which booze ads can be screened on TV to later at night, according to Anuwat Dharamadhaj, director of the Consumer Protection Board. Currently Thailand's four commercial television stations can not air alcohol commercials before 10 p.m., leaving them between three and five hours for ads, depending at what time they shut down for the night.

The board is also reviewing billboard advertising for alcohol. One prominent whisky billboard in the commercial center of Bangkok has been judged "sexually suggestive" and the board is debating whether to send a warning notice to the manufacturer.

Anuwat says the board is also trying to speed up the creation of a Thai Housewives' Association, which will act as a watchdog for excessive alcohol promotion and other issues. Additional measures under consideration include product label warnings similar to those on cigarette packages and restricting liquor purchases to those over 18 years old.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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