SOUTH KOREA: No End to the Media Advertising Controversy

It took years of contentious debate, but the oft-fractious National Assembly passed the long disputed and controversial Media Representative Bill by a large majority.
According to the Korea Herald, a leading English language daily,  “The bill calls for designating a single advertising broker for public stations” in response to the 2008 ruling by the Constitutional Court stating that the state-run Korea Broadcast Advertising Corporation’s monopoly on television advertisements was unconstitutional. The new bill presumably would meet the Constitutional anti-monopoly standard.
For some, however, the development is a sell-out to private interests.  Yonhap News Agency reports that those who oppose the bill argue that “the bill favors new general-programming cable channels run by influential dailies” which were launched late last year. These new cable channels are excluded from this “regulation for three years from the day each received official permission for business.”
There is fear among the opposition that the “system originally intended to control influential media’s dominance of broadcasting ads would instead stir overheated competition in the ad market.”
It would appear that the contention and controversy over the best way for South Korea to handle media advertising is anything but over, despite the presumably best efforts of the National Assembly.
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