Broadcasters to suggest formula on surrogate ads

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3 Nov 2010
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NEW DELHI: The government has asked the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and the News Broadcasting Association (NBA) to finalise within three weeks their strategy relating to surrogate advertisements of products using brand names or logos which are also used for cigarettes, tobacco products, wine, alcohol, liquor or other intoxicants that continue to appear on television channels.

The two organisations had told the Ministry that there are some cases of genuine brand extension and, therefore, there could not be a blanket ban on all such advertisements. The time of three weeks had been sought by the organisations.

Senior officials of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Law Ministry in a meeting here discussed the issue with representatives of the two organisations.

Senior I&B Ministry sources told that the organisations were apprised about the concerns of the Government and the need to take stern action against violations.

In a directive on 17 June last year, the I&B Ministry had asked all TV channels to stop such advertisements. It had said the notification of 27 February 2009 cannot be cited as an excuse for airing such advertisements in violation of Rule 7(2)(viii)(A) of the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994 as the guidelines had not been operationalised.

It had further said that certificates issued by the Central Board of Film Certification under the Ministry's notification of 9 August 2006 will also not be accepted as these are null and void in view of subsequent amendment of Rule 7(2)(viii) of the Rules.

All channels including news and current affairs channels have been directed to, therefore, immediately withdraw such advertisements.

In another notification, the Ministry had asked all TV channels to stop violating Rule 7(10) which clearly states that advertisements should be clearly distinguishable from the programme/news broadcast and cannot be carried on the same screen as captions, static or moving alongside the programme.

This followed several complaints that channels often carry advertisements in scrolls which get mixed with news and also on the screen which interferes with the programme.
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