22 MAY 2002
Regulating TV advertising seems to have been a priority of the Broadcasting Authority throughout 2001. This is witnessed by the special focus on the regulations published in the latest Broadcasting Authoritys Annual Report.
As Chairman Prof. Joseph M. Pirotta states in his message, "Television advertising, which the Authority recognises is the broadcasting industrys lifeblood, had long been a source of worry to it."
New trends and sensationalism have contributed to competing with programme content.
The Authority considers advertisements as being an economic issue within the broadcasting media. Regulations are meant to act as guidelines not only for the televised genre but also for radio stations, which both deal directly with increased media attention.
Sponsorship is tackled widely in all its various forms.
Prohibited sponsorship includes activities dealing with the manufacture or sale of products or medical treatment, as well as the manufacture or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Teleshopping, the newest phenomenon for TV stations has been given specific duration guidelines. These include the rule that teleshopping cannot be presented by anchormen or anchorwomen who are engaged in television news or current affairs features.
Advertising material will also have to abide by strict measures which stipulate that transmission time for advertising spots shall not exceed 15% of the daily transmission time. Moreover advertising cannot be offensive to religious or political beliefs or encourage behaviour which could be prejudicial to health or safety.
Once again the broadcasting world is aiming at protecting the consumer and the viewer from the excessive onslaught of consumerism. Another case in point is that of sponsorships. Certain conditions are completely prohibited. News and current affairs programmes may not be sponsored.
Programmes may not be sponsored by legal persons whose principal activity is the manufacture or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Moreover programmes which involve activities which include the manufacture or sale of medicinal products and medical treatment may promote the name or image of the undertaking but not promote specific medicinal products or medical treatments which are available only on prescription.