Republic Bharat rapped by Ofcom for three commercial references in bulletins

BizAsia Correspondent



Republic Bharat has been rapped by Ofcom again over three commercial references during news bulletins in August and September 2020.

Ofcom identified references to financial exchange distributor Ebixcash during the current affairs programmes ‘Yeh Bharat Ki Baat Hai’, ‘Poochta Hai Bharat’, and ‘The Debate with Arnab Goswami’. The logo of this company appeared various times during each programme.

Worldview Media, which operates the channel in the UK, stressed that the Ebixcash reference is normally masked and that these commercial references were the result of an error. However, the Licensee acknowledged that the Ebixcash logo should have been masked and apologised for this oversight. It explained that the person usually responsible for controlling the masking software was absent on the day in question and the staff member providing cover did not act on technical errors with the branding software.

The Licensee stressed that it did not benefit financially from these commercial references and that it was committed to ensuring that these incidents are avoided.

Ofcom noted that there was a previous similar incident and has put the Licensee on notice. It said, “Ofcom recorded a breach of Rule 9.5 against Worldview Media for the presence of the Ebixcash logo in a news programme broadcast in February 2020. We recognise Worldview Media’s acknowledgement of the errors but are concerned that a further three similar instances have occurred within a relatively short period.”