Rule 4 of the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA) states: Time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots on any channel in any one hour must not exceed 12 minutes.
Media regulator Ofcom received a complaint about advertising scrolling in Urdu across the bottom of the image seen on screen during this broadcast on ARY QTV. Scrolling advertising is subject to COSTA and must not exceed the 12 minute allowance in a single clock hour.
Taking the scrolling messages into account, Ofcom noted that ARY QTV broadcast 40 minutes and 59 seconds of advertising in the clock hour from 01:00 to 02:00.
The license holder explained that ARY QTV is a single beam broadcasting from the play out centre in Pakistan and that in the UK it obscures the scrolling text with a permanent band. The Licensee added that its technical staff did its best to overlap the scrolling text but unfortunately due a system malfunction the overlapping band was removed on this particular occasion. Following the incident, the Licensee said it had decided to remove the scrolling text entirely to avoid a recurrence.
On the basis of information available to Ofcom, we considered the scrolling messages to fall within the definition of advertising in COSTA. Therefore, the advertising allowance in this clock hour was exceeded by 28 minutes and 59 seconds and Rule 4 of COSTA was breached.
Ofcom considered this to be a significant breach of Rule 4 of COSTA.