Five Asian TV channels in the UK have been rapped for sponsorship breach during multiple occasions last year.
Star Plus, Star Gold, Sony Entertainment Television Asia, MATV and Brit Asia TV all fell foul of Ofcom’s rules and regulations by not differentiating sponsorship to regular advertising.
Star Plus and Star Gold
Star TV was found in breach of sponsorship in June 2012 during the shows ‘Badi Picture’ and ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
Star TV stated that it takes its responsibility to comply with the Code extremely seriously and that it was ���surprised to see these credits broadcast�. It said that it had robust compliance procedures in place for its UK channels.
Star TV explained that the two sponsorship credits ���slipped through� due to a junior inexperienced member of staff failing to follow the proper process for clearing sponsorship credits before broadcast, despite being briefed on the relevant guidelines and process.
Star TV stated that it had removed the credits as soon as it was made aware of the issue by Ofcom. It apologised for the broadcast of the credits and also stated that it ���will continue to closely monitor its internal processes to ensure compliance to the Ofcom Broadcasting Code�.
Sony Entertainment Television Asia
Sony TV Asia was found in breach of sponsorship rules during ‘Indian Idol’ last year where the sponsorship credit included more than it should.
It stated that it had not realised that a ���company�۪s trade mark taglines or catch phrases could not be part of the sponsorship tags�. It had considered taglines were ���a part of the company�۪s trade description ��� and thus an entitlement of sponsorship�. Further, it explained that it had understood that ���[a]s long as there was no call to action ��� i.e. a phone number� the sponsorship credits would be acceptable.
Sony TV also stated in its response, ���We will make sure that the tags that are produced from this day forward will not hold any ���claims��. It said that it appreciated Ofcom�۪s assistance in clarifying the rules and confirmed that it has changed all the sponsorship credits.
Brit Asia TV
Brit Asia TV broadcast the programme ‘Fresh Hits’ in June/July last year, which was sponsored by Payment Protection Refunds – a business that provides a service for mis-sold payment protection policies taken out with mortgages, credit cards and store cards.
The channel did not distinct sponsorship tags from regular spot advertising. Brit Asia TV did not respond to Ofcom’s breach.
The programme ‘Let Us Talk About Hinduism’, which aired in August last year was sponsored by Charantia Karela Capsules, which is a food supplement supplied by Multilinks Healthcare Products.
MATV confirmed that the sponsorship credit is no longer broadcast on MATV. However, it said that in its view the credit had not been in breach of the Code. It submitted that the phrase ���Healthy life style� was a general term that did not give medical advice, and that it was included in the credit to suggest that consumption of the product ���helps to lead a healthy lifestyle� and was ���just like a slogan & not there to attract any sales�.
MATV also suggested that the website address was provided so that potential customers could obtain background information about a product that is not well known in the UK. MATV also noted that the sponsorship credit did not include sales information such as pricing or details of sales outlets.