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Hong Kong ad industry demands explanation from government for denial of HKTV TV licence

HKTVTwo of Hong Kong’s most powerful advertising industry bodies have rounded on the government for rejecting a TV licence to a new entrant to the market for no apparent reason.

The government’s decision to deny newcomer Hong Kong Television Networks, led by entrepreneur Ricky Wong, a broadcasting licence has led to a public outcry over a lack of transparency, with protesters taking to the streets to contest the verdict.

The Hong Kong Advertisers Association and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of Hong Kong have issued a joint statement to voice their opposition to the decision.

In a brief statement, the HK4As and the HK2A said:

Both Associations agreed that free consumer choice and equitable selection on TV stations should be encouraged. We request reasonable explanations from the Government on this controversial decision to the public, and call for greater transparency on such an important decision affecting our industry.

Ray Wong, the CEO of media agency PHD Hong Kong, told Mumbrella last week: “The motive for denying the licence is not transparent. I think there is a hidden agenda.”

HKTV was denied a licence, while i-Cable’s Fantastic TV and PCCW’s Hong Kong Television Entertainment were both greenlighted.

HKTV has had to lay off 320 staff as a result. The company has spent HK$300m on content production since it submitted its application in 2010.

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