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Ads tax good for Greece, but bad for Hungary?

July 4th, 2015

An independent conservative pundit remarks that the West is suggesting the very same therapy to Greece it severely criticised when it was applied by Hungary. He thinks advertisements should be heavily taxed and TV ad time severely cut back, but not just in order to reduce public deficits.

In Magyar Nemzet, Róbert Puzsér asks why powerful CEOs in the advertising world do not protest when the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank ask Greece to tax advertisements. The same people used to lecture the Hungarian government about the indispensable social function of commercials, when an ads tax was introduced in Hungary. And their campaign was fully supported by the European Union. Puzsér believes that TV commercials have built a dream world  for consumers, which has resulted in reckless spending and thus strongly contributed to the Greek crisis. He thinks Hungary should continue taxing advertisements, but not to punish unruly media outlets and not even just to avoid sliding into a Greek-style crisis. Authorities should tax TV commercials and impose severe limitations on airing times first and foremost in order “to enable us to re-establish our own autonomy and become masters of our own destiny.”

(For the debate on Hungary’s ad tax, see BudaPost from 2012 through 2015)

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