Japan station bilks on blurbs

TOKYO — A television station in the coastal city of Kanazawa bilked advertisers for thousands of commercials it did not broadcast in one year, a company spokesman said Wednesday. The station becomes the second Japanese broadcaster exposed for ad-bilking in the past month.

According to an internal report compiled by Hokoriku Hoso, the Kanazawa broadcaster did not broadcast 2,569 TV spots purchased between June 1996 and June 1997. The number of commercials that did not hit the air is about 1.1% of all spot advertising sold by the station.

Amount unknown

The broadcaster has yet to reveal the amount of money advertisers lost for blurbs that were not broadcast. A spokesman for the broadcaster, which uses the call letters MRO, said a computer problem was partially to blame.

In June, an ad-bilking scandal at Fukuoka Broadcasting Corp. (FBS), in the major southwestern city of Fukuoka, came to light. Over an eight-year period, the broadcaster did not air 2,433 TV blurbs that had been purchased by sponsors, according to the results of an internal probe.

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