Thailand may lose golf tournament because of alcohol ad ban
Thailand could lose the chance to host next year's Johnnie Walker Classic golf tournament after the new government banned alcohol advertisements, the brand's local importer said Tuesday.
Riche Monde (Bangkok), local distributor of Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, said the decision to let Thailand host the three-day event in on the Phuket was under review because of the government's ban on alcohol ads.
"The Thai unit hoped the golf tournament would bring tourists back to Phuket, but now our headquarters is rethinking as we cannot put advertisements on the event," said Wimonwan Udomphorn, vice president of Riche Monde (Bangkok).
"It means Thailand might lose a chance to host the tournament and it would be shifted to other countries," she told Agence France Presse. China and South Korea, which lost out to Thailand in previous nominations, could host the event.
"The golf tournament will be held in March, and we are still waiting for a clear decision from the government about the ad ban," said Wimonwan.
Under new regulations endorsed last week, Thai government will ban alcohol advertisements from television, newspapers and billboards from mid-December.
The new rules also require warning labels on bottles of alcoholic beverages to alert consumers to potential risks of drinking.
The health ministry estimates that the ban could result in annual losses of 2.5 billion baht (66 million dollars) to the advertising business but say the ban is needed to curb underage drinking.