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Japan Advertisers probe blurb-skipping scandal

123 TV stations under scrutiny

TOKYO — The Japan Advertisers Assn. will begin monitoring records of 123 television stations across the country to make sure that commercials were broadcast as scheduled. The move comes in the wake of revelations that three provincial stations cheated advertisers over the last three years.

Two provincial stations, one in Fukuoka and the other in Hokuriku, were severely reprimanded when they were caught skipping hundreds of commercial placements two years ago.

Irate advertisers demanded their money back, and the stations, as well as their networks, pledged that such cheating would never happen again.

More skipping

Earlier this year, however, yet another station, this one in Shizuoka, was discovered to have skipped commercial placements two years ago.

After weeks of deliberation, major advertisers under the wing of the JAA decided to clamp down on such cheating by thoroughly checking the commercial placement records of all TV stations in 1996 and 1997.

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