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(July 6, 2001) -- The White House Office of National Drug Policy said it changed its ad program to no longer allows media companies to use TV programming or magazine content as a matching ad for each ad bought by the government.

The program had required publishers and broadcasters to provide a free ad or one of equal value.

The change will take effect as new contracts are signed and will apparently force broadcasters to use more commercial time for matching public service announcements.

Broadcasters had been using anti-drug plotlines on TV shows as a means to match the government's advertising requirements. But the effort drew plenty of controversy, even though the drug office decided it wouldn't approve shows until after they had run. -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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