The Indian edition of The Wall Street Journal Asia (WSJA) partially blanked out for the weekend, thanks to alcohol advertising and Indian laws that bar them from being published in a newspaper.
On Friday, readers in India were intrigued to find a full page and two-thirds of another page in the local version of the financial newspaper without any content. A notice on those pages said certain advertisements had been deleted under advice of the information and broadcasting ministry.
“Under Indian government regulations we are required to publish the notice which appeared in today's facsimile edition when the edition on which the facsimile is based carries an advertisement in a category that is not permitted in India,” Joe Spitzer, WSJA’s spokesperson in Hong Kong, said in an e-mail to Hindustan Times.
The advertisements were of a cognac brand — Richard Hennesy — and were carried in copies of the paper distributed in other Asian countries.
India doesn’t allow foreign newspapers to set up editions here. They can, however, locally print facsimile of any of their editions outside, but the content must conform to Indian laws that bar liquor advertising.