Vietnam bans ads during dinner

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[Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam] Vietnam's Ministry for Culture and Information has banned TV and radio ads for feminine hygiene products, condoms, toilet paper and skin-care remedies between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.-the family dinner hour-claiming the ads could offend the conservative country's culture and tradition. "The decision is regrettable. I think sanitary-napkin advertising contributes to better hygiene as well as female empowerment, in terms of giving women a great ability to make choices," said Singapore-based Dick van Motman, Leo Burnett Worldwide's regional brand director-Asia/Pacific for Procter & Gamble Co. brands such as Whisper. "It's not the first time in Asia we've heard it's offensive to advertise these products during mealtimes, but it's against the trend. Other Asian markets such as South Korea and Malaysia have loosened advertising in this category in recent years and the vast majority of the population does not take offense." Another P&G agency exec expressed concern that the ban could be extended to diapers, but said that's not an issue yet.
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