The “Clean City” law passed a couple of years ago in Sao Paulo, stripping the Brazilian city of all advertising. Today, France is following suit, with prime-time television ditching advertising, as Sarkozy’s media reforms got under way. The plan is to phase it out by 2011. Sarkozy says the move will allow state-run channels to make better quality programmes because they will no longer have to attract large audiences in order to secure advertising revenue.
Interesting idea, and it would be cool to see if that indeed does affect quality. I think it might backfire, because without the huge advertising revenues, money might be a bit short in supply to actually produce anything of top quality. But who knows.