updated 5/12/2006 12:48:31 PM ET 2006-05-12T16:48:31

Polish state television has decided not to broadcast ads for alcohol, contraceptives or even lingerie when Pope Benedict XVI visits later this month, an official said Friday.

Suggestions of sex will also be strictly forbidden according to guidelines released by the state broadcasters before Benedict makes his first visit to deeply Roman Catholic Poland on May 25.

"There is always the risk that the faithful may feel hurt if programming devoted to the pope's visit is interrupted by frivolous ads," Zbigniew Badziak, head of advertising for Telewizja Polska, the state-run network operating three channels, told The Associated Press.

Poland is the homeland of Benedict's revered predecessor, John Paul II.

State television imposed similar bans during John Paul's visits, and most advertisers have already supplied toned-down ads on their own in anticipation of the restrictions, Badziak said.

10 percent of ads affected
The restrictions affect some 10 percent of the ads currently being shown on Polish state television, he said.

An ad promoting the "multiple pleasures" of LG. Phillips' television sets, featuring a couple appearing to have sex, is currently aired only after 10 p.m. and will not be shown at all during the papal visit, Badziak said.

The channels will also air no advertisements at all before or after they televise Masses that Benedict will lead during his stay.

The state television network operates three major channels that compete with a handful of private channels and many more cable and satellite offerings.

A private channel, TVN, has also decided to suspend a late-night ad for a mobile phone service with strong sexual overtones, said Wojciech Dzieciolowski, head of advertising.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments