SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of TV ads for alcoholic beverages and private lenders dropped last year from the year before, records from the communications watchdog showed Friday, apparently as the ads were more broadly distributed to other outlets, such as mobile platforms.
Some 19,158 alcohol-related commercials aired on terrestrial and cable TV channels last year, down 20.3 percent from the previous year, according to the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) who released the data for a parliamentary audit.
Alcohol ads got more airtime after cable channels picked them up in 2012. The number of alcohol advertisements on the channels increased from 7,743 in 2013 to 14,879 in 2016 but dropped to 13,177 last year.
At terrestrial channels, the number was 11,541 in 2014 but fell to 5,981 last year.
Industry officials say availability of other platforms, including mobile, internet protocol TVs and over-the-top (OTT) streaming media, is the primary reason for the drop of related ads on the more traditional outlets.
For private loan advertisements, the number of broadcasts fell for the third consecutive year in 2017. Broadcasts stopped at 20,318 last year, down 5 percent from the previous year, reaching only 41.9 percent of the corresponding number in 2014.
Financial authorities and the Seoul city government started cracking down on ads by private lenders, criticized for their unreasonably high interest rates, by limiting their airtime. But the lenders have worked around the restrictions by increasing exposure on social networking services, internet portals and other online outlets.
The KCC inspected 4,569 cases of illegal ads by private lenders in the January-September period this year, compared with 1,755 cases for all of 2014.