STAR Plus has had its wrist slapped by media regulator, Ofcom over sponsorships aired during its reality TV show, ‘Perfect Bride’.
A viewer complained about the number of ‘calls to action’ messages displayed in each sponsorship slide. On this occasion, the channel had three clients, which contained more than the allowed information of its sponsors. One ‘call to action’ for a client is suffice but anything else can be seen in breach of Ofcom rules and regulations.
Ofcom has repeatedly informed broadcasters that “Sponsorship must be clearly separated from advertising. Sponsor credits must not contain advertising messages or calls to action. In particular, credits must not encourage the purchase or rental of products or services of the sponsor or a third party.”
STAR TV UK said it had reviewed the sponsorship credits and removed them from transmission because it considered them to be “clearly in breach of Rule 9.13” and therefore “should not have been run as sponsorship credits”.
Furthermore, the broadcaster explained that the reason these credits were broadcast was because they arrived with little time to spare before transmission, and a junior member of the ‘Traffic team’ “presumed they had been cleared” by the ‘Sales Team’.
Ofcom concluded that it “does not expect further recurrences”.
Also as a note to other broadcasters, Ofcom said, “In light of Ofcom�۪s recent monitoring exercises in this area, and recent guidance on this issue, Ofcom urges broadcasters to exercise caution when making such judgments.”
It further added, “Broadcasters should also be reminded that the European Commission has recently been taking a very active interest in this issue and is known to be monitoring the compliance of sponsorship credits in some Member States.”