Bengali channel, NTV has been rapped by Ofcom for incorrect product placement during a show it aired in October last year.
A viewer complained that the magazine show ‘Style and Trends’ featured a branding for a body spray.
– The programme title graphic incorporated the logo of the body spray. This graphic was shown at each programme juncture (e.g. at the beginning and end of the programme and around advertising breaks) and also appeared during the programme via a screen situated next to the presenter in the studio; and
– During various programme segments product shots of the body spray appeared along the bottom of the screen.
NTV said that a significant percentage of its programming was sponsored content from Bangladesh and that it was not party to any commercial arrangements relating to this content. It continued that, in order to comply with Ofcom rules, it endeavoured to remove references to the Bangladeshi sponsors�۪ products in these programmes. However, in some cases, it found the content to be inseparable and its editor struggled to remove the sponsor references. Ofcom said that it had tried to comply with Ofcom�۪s product placement guidance in relation to this particular programme.
Ofcom said it recognises the difficulties faced by broadcasters when transmitting content originally produced for broadcast in a territory where the regulatory requirements differ to those enforced by Ofcom. However, these difficulties do not justify an Ofcom licensee broadcasting material on its Ofcom licensed service that does not comply with the Code.
In this case, the programme featured on-screen references to the sponsor�۪s product with no editorial justification for doing so. Ofcom therefore judged that the references were in breach of Rule 9.10.
Ofcom concluded that there continues to be a systemic problem with the Licensee�۪s compliance procedures. Ofcom has put the Licensee on notice that it will consider NTV�۪s breach of Condition 17(2) for the imposition of a statutory sanction.