Bengali broadcaster, Channel i (Prime Bangla) has been rapped by Ofcom for two breaches on two occasions in September last year.
The first incident occurred during singing show ‘Shera Kontho’. A complainant contacted Ofcom about the prominence of references to the sponsor throughout the episode broadcast on 19th September 2014. Ofcom reviewed the programme, which was approximately 45 minutes in duration. In addition to sponsorship credits, we noted regular references throughout the programme to its sponsor, Fizz Up Clear Lemonade. The Licensee said Channel i Bangladesh had produced Shera Kontho and the brands mentioned in the programme were Bangladeshi products that had
���no commercial or business interest or presence in [the] UK or Europe� and had featured on Channel i Bangladesh under agreement with that channel. It added that Prime Bangla was a separate company from Channel i Bangladesh, with which the Licensee had an agreement to broadcast its content in the UK and Europe under the brand, Channel i.
Another complaint received by Ofcom was of material on the channel that announced an upcoming event in East London, called ��UK Star Night�۪. The item lasted 30 seconds, during which the image of a poster (or flyer) that promoted the event was slowly scrolled up the screen.
Prime Bangla said it ���received this clip from a community member� who requested it was broadcast on Channel i. The Licensee added that its editorial team considered ���the material did not directly promote any sponsors of their event or their products�. It added that its ���aim is to let [its] community know about the events happening in the society� and that ���some of the business brand placement on the material sole purpose is to let public know where the tickets can be obtained�. In addition, Prime Bangla said it ���never intentionally broadcast their brands for any benefit or give [un]due prominence to any particular brand�, adding that it considered ���no products, services and trade marks [were] directly or indirectly promoted in programming�.
Ofcom said it was concerned that the Licensee�۪s comments in this case imply a lack of understanding of the requirements of Section Nine of the Code. We are therefore requesting that Prime Bangla attend a meeting to set out its procedures for ensuring compliance with Section Nine.