World Business: A Smokeless Screen

The British government has always kept the TV commercial at arm's length, as if it were a particularly odorous fish. The state-owned British Broadcasting Corp. will have nothing to do with it at all. On Britain's single commercial TV network, the government allows no sponsored programs, confines commercials generally to short intervals between programs and carefully regulates their length and tone. Last week the Labor government took regulation a step farther. As part of the government's vigorous antismoking campaign it ordered a strict ban on all cigarette advertising on the telly, which cigarette companies had already voluntarily restricted to after 9...

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