It is good to see fledgling Nepal-TV doing so well, but distressing to note that most of its advertising revenue seems to derive from come-hither advertisements from soda manufacturers, beer bottlers and cigarette pushers.
An American soda ad shows off scantily clad super-rich California kids wind-surfing on the Pacific coast. What kind of a message is that for poverty stricken, land-locked Nepal, even in ad-speak? No clever commercial here, just an attempt to get an unsophisticated audience to pant after what they cannot have.
Just to keep up with the foreign competition, a Kathmandu adman has produced a slick commercial showing a shapely Nepali miss going through her paces, while an off-screen voice asks, “Are you man enough?”. Now that Kathmandu-wallahs know what a television set looks and sounds like, it is time for NTV to show some circumspection in selecting commercials.
Speaking of ads, the good news from New Delhi is that the Health Ministry is planning to ban all advertisements of cigarettes, bidis, cigars and other tobacco-based products. We hope that this plan becomes reality. Initially, the statutory warning on cigarette packs is to be extended to all the other tobacco products. Specific warnings are to be developed, which will refer to oral cancer, heart problems, respiratory diseases and life spans.