Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreigner ad ban mulled

Foreigner ad ban mulled

A screenshot of an IZE Cola soft drink commercial featuring foreign actors on a local television network.
A screenshot of an IZE Cola soft drink commercial featuring foreign actors on a local television network. Photo supplied

Foreigner ad ban mulled

Cambodia's Information Ministry is planning to ban commercials starring foreign actors, officials said, though local advertisement companies were optimistic yesterday that such a move wouldn’t hurt their businesses.

Ouk Kimseng, spokesman for the ministry, said there was no official directive yet, but Information Minister Khieu Kanharith “suggested that actors and actresses performing in the commercials should be Cambodian”.

“He encouraged Cambodian actors and actresses to be directly involved,” he said.

All advertisements should be produced by local companies and should not have any foreign performers, he added. The move would apply to all TV stations in Cambodia.

Kimseng said there could be a meeting after the Water Festival with broadcasters “to see how they can comply with these kinds of instructions”.

Kanharith yesterday would only say that the proposal was “just a plan”, and declined to comment further.

Jonathan Polakowski, CEO of Brains Communication in Phnom Penh, said that Kanharith was right to push local performers to take part in commercials.

Cambodia is starting to have a “good nest of talents” capable of performing in commercials, he added.

“Cambodia has a growing market today, and many brands are coming in,” he said in an email. “It would be a shame to not create a new industry for the commercials and to not localize it!”

Polakowski said he didn’t believe the potential move would affect his business. However, he added, it wouldn’t be a “smart move” to ban commercials with foreigners outright, as ads needed to be tailored to certain audiences.

Rathany Than, with Cambodia Film Fixers, said for local TV commercials the company already uses local performers, depending on the client’s needs.

“We do have productions which have foreign actors and actresses,” she said, adding that those are typically aired in other countries, not Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Pok Borak, director of the Ministry of Culture’s Cinema Department, said the ministry last week sent a letter to the Cambodian TV Association to consider not broadcasting TV advertisements that affect the “morality” of society and culture in Cambodia.

According to a copy of the letter, the ministry claims it had received complaints from people after they saw commercials from certain companies using sexual innuendo to sell their products.

“The use of those words attracted criticism and the public suggested the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to take measures to end such advertisements,” the letter reads.

Additional reporting by Kong Meta

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be