Vatican Radio To Air Its First Commercial

Vatican Radio says it will start running commercials for the first time in its history. Vatican officials say an Italian communications firm specializing in publicity for Catholic media will screen potential clients for quality and ethical content. The first ads — for an Italian energy company — will start running July 6.

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DAVID GREENE, host:

Our last word in business today comes from the annals of marketing. The word is papal ads. Vatican Radio, the voice of the Roman Catholic Church, and also known as the Voice of the Pope is one of the world's oldest broadcasters. It started in 1931. In all that time it's never aired commercials. But rising costs have forced the Vatican to change that policy. And starting in July, Vatican Radio will start airing ads.

Apparently, the Pope has personally approved of this new commercial venture. You might be able to guess some products that will not be advertised on Vatican Radio. One of the companies that will be allowed to advertise is an Italian electricity company. A Vatican spokesperson said that an agency will check all ads to make sure they are in keeping with the church's moral standards.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News I'm David Greene in for Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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