Television stations in South Korea have rejected government anti-smoking propaganda as being too graphic, according to a story in The Korea Times.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare had wanted to use what the paper called an “unprecedentedly realistic anti-smoking ad,” similar to those used in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K.
But when the advertising agency hired to produce the propaganda contacted broadcasters with sample propaganda from Australia in order to check whether they would accept such a level of negativity and fear, the broadcasters were said to have been not very enthusiastic.
The Australian propaganda shows a severed artery that oozes fat when squeezed.
“The advertisement would last 40 seconds, and the broadcasters said it would be difficult to show body parts for as long as the Australian ad does,” said an official at the health ministry.
Reflecting feedback from the broadcasters, the agency filmed propaganda that features a softened message. It will be aired, beginning June 26.
The ministry official said that the propaganda would still be “threatening and negative” enough.
But Choi You-jin, a professor at Dongguk University, said that a “public service advertisement” should be “pre-tested” by members of the public rather than by broadcasters.