Channel i in trouble with Ofcom over sponsorship

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


Channel i

Bengali infotainment service, Channel i has been rapped by Ofcom for a breach over a sponsorship it ran during a competition in December last year.

The programme in question, had a number of sponsors, including Mishti Desh catering service. The sponsorship credit for Mishti Desh included a graphic, which stated, ���BEST
CATERERS in the UK�۝ followed by another graphic which stated ���BRITISH BANGLADESHI BUSINESS AWARDS 11 March 2015 Birmingham�۝. The second graphic included an image of a man receiving an award from the then Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Mr Syed Shafique Shah.

Ofcom said the material was broadcast in error and apologised for the mistake. It added that it will ensure the material is not repeated and that the employees responsible for compliance will review the material and their procedures in March to ���help us to prevent such incidents happening again�۝.

Ofcom said to prevent credits effectively becoming advertisements and therefore increasing the amount of advertising transmitted, Rule 9.22(a) of the Code requires that sponsorship credits broadcast around sponsored programmes must not contain advertising messages or calls to action, or encourage the purchase or rental of the products or services of the sponsor or a third party.

Ofcom noted the actions taken by the Licensee since it became aware of the issue, however Ofcom considered that the claim ���BEST CATERERS in the UK�۝ followed by a reference to the 2015 British Bangladeshi Business Awards (which included an image of a man receiving an award), constituted a promotional claim about the sponsor�۪s business. Such claims are advertising messages, and the sponsorship credit was therefore in breach of Rule 9.22(a).

Given the number of breaches recorded against this Licensee, Ofcom recently met Channel i to discuss the Licensee�۪s approach to compliance with Section Nine of the Code. Ofcom will continue to monitor this service and may consider further regulatory action in the event of further breaches of the Code by the Licensee.