In an attempt to curb runaway inflation that threatens to get Argentina kicked out of the International Monetary Fund, the government has imposed a bizarre, unofficial ban on advertising, businesses and publishers have told the Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press.
Inflation in Argentina is likely near 26 percent, but the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claims it is much lower.
It's not clear how a halt to advertising spending would lower inflation. The WSJ reports:
... retail executives say price-control czar Guillermo Moreno pressured them earlier this week to agree to freeze prices for two months. Executives say Mr. Moreno then told them to pull all newspaper sales ads in hopes this would somehow curb inflation. "This was an imposition, not a request. He simply decided that nobody should publish any ads. It's not sustainable and will be hard to comply with," said one retail-sector executive.
The government officially denied the ban to the AP.
One theory is that the ban is intended to punish newspapers which have published stories about inflation, the WSJ said:
The Buenos Aires Newspaper Editors Association said the order was a reprisal against those who publish independent inflation estimates. "This is another display of how far authoritarianism can go in a context that is dominated by discretional policies and bullying," the group said in a harshly worded newspaper ad Friday.
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