A1TV lands in trouble with Ofcom for product placement breach

Lakh Baddhan

Senior Editor


A1TV has been pulled up by Ofcom for breaching a product placement rule.

Ofcom received a complaint about the appearance of commercial brands in ‘Ramadan Kareem with Reema Khan’ on 8th May 2019. The logos of four products were visible in various places around the cooking demonstration throughout most of the programme.

The Licensee explained that it had acquired the content from a news channel based in Pakistan and despite time constraints, resources and the differing regulatory regime in the UK, this was edited for broadcast on A1TV. However, it said that a “newly appointed transmission operator” had broadcast an unedited version of the programme by mistake.

It said that it understood the importance of editing commercial branding in programming. It said that edited content is approved by a monitoring department and that following this incident, it had introduced a second layer of trained compliance staff that watched edited programmes with transmission operators to ensure compliance.

Ofcom accepted that the references to the products occurred as a result of human error and acknowledged the Licensee’s assurance that the error would not be repeated. However, taking into account the factors, Ofcom’s Decision is that the programme gave undue prominence to the four products, in breach of Rule 9.5 of the Code.