ATN Bangla has been rapped by Ofcom for incorrect ‘Product Placement’ during two Ramadan shows last year.
The media regulator picked up on two incidents on 22nd June 2015 during ‘Saif Powertec: the Light of Ramadan’ and ‘In the Shade of the Qur�۪an, powered by Smart Active Gold
Mehedi’. Ofcom monitored a logo for Saif Powertec (a construction and power generation firm in Bangladesh) was prominent and clearly visible in the background of the set for the duration of the former programme, while Logos for Dekko (a food manufacturer in Bangladesh) were clearly visible in the background of the set and on the judges�۪ tables throughout the second programme.
ATN Bangla said it had sourced these programmes from Bangladesh; that they were produced by an independent production company; and, that ATN Bangla UK did not financially benefit from the productions. Although the Licensee was unable to confirm whether any commercial arrangements existed between the companies referred to and the programme�۪s producer/broadcaster in Bangladesh, it explained that the references to these companies in the programmes ���was not editable…therefore the PP sign was shown at the beginning of these programmes to adhere to Ofcom compliance�.
Ofcom noted the Licensee�۪s argument that it had received no financial benefit from the inclusion of these references, the rules relating to undue prominence are primarily intended to protect audiences by limiting the number of commercial messages contained in programming. Accordingly, the Licensee�۪s commercial arrangements were not relevant to our consideration of whether the references within the programme were unduly prominent.
Ofcom did not consider that there was editorial justification for extensive visual references to a power generation firm and a food manufacturer throughout programming focused on aspects of religious faith and have therefore recorded breaches of Rule 9.5 of the Code.