KOREA: Contraceptives to appear in TV commercials
Easing of broadcasting regulations paving way for contraceptive marketing on television
Monday, May 22, 2006
By Kim Tong-hyung
Companies marketing condoms, contraceptives and other sex-related products and drugs are looking to advertise their prododucts on television since the easing of broadcasting regulations, industry sources said Monday.
The Korea Broadcasting Commission (KBC), the country's broadcasting regulator, announced a new regulatory framework in January to allow advertisements for birth-control products and pills, cardiac drugs, suppository medicines and other items previously banned from being featured in television commercials.
The Korean branch of Dutch pharmaceutical company Organon, which distributes the oral contraceptive pill Mercilon here, said it submitted a draft version of the product's television commercial to the KBC's screening panel in February.
Although the screening process is taking longer than the company expected, with regulators predictably taking a cautious look at the content of the advertisement, Organon hopes to have its commercial on-air by the end of the month.
"For us it's the sooner the better," said Park Sun-kyu, from Organon Korea's marketing division.
"We are planning to distribute the commercials not only to the land-based, national television stations but also cable television networks and other mediums," she said.
If the KBC approves the Mercilon commercial it would be the first time in Korea for a contraceptive advertisement to be aired on television.
Condom commercials have been appearing on television since 2004, but only as part of a public campaign promoting condom use, pushed by the Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention (KAIDS).
Recently, however, condom manufacturers such as Unidus have been promoting their products on cable television networks and the Internet, and are considering spreading the advertisements to national television.
Although the authorities have allowed television commercials for sex-related products, it remains to be seen whether the bigger television broadcasters accept the advertisements, with concerns that the commercials for condoms and contraceptives might offend viewers.
Date Posted: 5/22/2006