ATN Bangla UK in trouble for charity appeal

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Free-to-air broadcaster, ATN Bangla, which is available on the Sky Digital platform, has been told off by media regulator over a charity appeal it ran during Ramadan in August.

The programme displayed details of how viewers can donate with information such as where the money was going, plus the charity number for the organisation.

A viewer questioned the legitimacy of the charity, noting that the charity number displayed on-screen did not appear to be genuine. He also alleged that Shah Jalal Mosque and Madrasha had paid for, and therefore sponsored, ATN Bangla UK?s broadcast appeal.

Ofcom noted that the charity number did not appear to be associated with any charity listed on the Charity Commission?s website.

ATN Bangla UK said that it considered Shah Jalal Mosque and Madrasha to be a legitimate charitable organisation. The broadcaster added that the organisation was raising funds for its Islamic Cultural Centre with the support of Aston Bangladesh Welfare Association, which is a charitable organisation registered with the Charity Commission. It explained that the charity number shown on-screen throughout the broadcast appeal was incorrect, as a result of a transcription error, which had been an oversight on its part.

Ofcom is concerned by ATN Bangla UK’s lack of compliance in this instance and puts the broadcaster on notice that, in the event of similar Code breaches, they will consider taking further regulatory action.

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