The World: Paris - Sarkozy orders ban on primetime spots for public TV

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has confirmed plans to ban primetime advertising on public TV from January next year.

He claims the move will give public TV greater freedom, with all advertising due to be phased out by the end of 2011.

To replace lost funding, Sarkozy plans to tax internet, telecoms and commercial broadcasting companies.

Ad revenues from commercial broadcasters will be taxed at a rate of 3 per cent, while internet and telecom companies will have to pay sums equivalent to just under 1 per cent of their sales.