ATN Bangla in trouble for “promotional” pilgrimage tour

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ATN Bangla has breached Ofcom rules for broadcasting a six hour programme, promoting a pilgrimage tour to Masjid Al-Aqsa (a mosque which is the third holiest site in Islam) in Jerusalem.

A viewer complained to the regulator with concerns that the programme was promoting the package tour.

The programme ‘Journey to Masjid Al-Aqsa’ was aired on 21st January 2013 at 19:00.

After investigation, Ofcom considered the material “clearly directly promoted the pilgrimage tour, its features and positive qualities, over an extended period, including a number of calls to action to viewers to book the tour or request further information.”

Ofcom added: “The nature and duration of the promotion of the tour throughout this almost six hour long programme was such that it was clearly presented in an unduly prominent manner, in breach of Rule 9.5 of the Code.”

ATN assured Ofcom that since becoming aware of the issues with the programme it has initiated a series of workshops on compliance issues which it considers will assist in ensuring that similar programmes broadcast in the future comply with the Code.

The programme breached Rules 9.2, 9.4 and 9.5 of the broadcasting code.

The programme therefore breached Rule 9.4 of the Code.

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