PRAGUE: Coca-Cola, Danone and other multinational brands are among those appealing to the parliament of the Czech Republic to lift its phased-in advertising ban on the two main channels of state-owned broadcaster Ceská Televize.

Channels CT1 and CT2 have been ordered to cease selling commercial airtime in 2008, leaving around 12% of the nation's advertising market to find new outlets [WARC News: 13-Oct-05]. In the interim, the broadcaster must halve the number of ad slots on offer as of January 1 2007.

The launch next year of six new digital channels will theoretically compensate for the loss of advertising time on CT1 and 2. However, most advertisers doubt the new outlets will go live by the due date of May 2007 and fear that prices will soar accordingly, with privately-owned stations Nova and Prima exploiting a duopoly.

The Office for Protection of Economic Competition has already shown some sympathy with advertisers' concerns, with chairman Martin Pecina implying that CT could be allowed to maintain its present volume of commercial time until the digital stations are up and running.

This compromise is also said to have the support of Ivan Langer, minister of interior and information.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff