Final Word from Thursday, September 4, 2003

We were surprised to learn that some major television advertisers were unaware that Procter & Gamble had withdrawn from TV Nova. P&G, though, is notoriously tight-lipped about its advertising strategy, and Nova certainly had no reason to talk about the dispute. Advertisers we spoke with showed great interest in pursuing the issue in upcoming negotiations, but they acknowledged that their bargaining power is limited because of the lack of available air time on Czech TV. P&G has bought up essentially every free slot. The alternative, the local head of a fast-moving consumer-goods company said, is to push Parliament to increase ČT's allotment. This didn't work in the past because of Vladimír Železný's "skills of persuasion." Now, though, the scales are starting to tip against TV Nova (and owner PPF). There are signs that Premier Vladimír Špidla might be open to such an issue.


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