TV99 has been rapped by media regulator, Ofcom for blatantly promoting a venue during programming airtime.
The show ‘Weekend Hype’ broadcast on 12th April 2016, featured references to a Vaisakhi event that was taking place at Monsoon Banqueting Hall in Southall on 16th April 2016. The programme featured interviews with a number of people attending the event and several verbal references to artists and other famous individuals who would be attending.
Ofcom considered that the references to the event at Monsoon Banqueting Hall raised issues under Section Nine of the Code. We sought information from TV99 about any commercial arrangements in place relating to the inclusion of these references. The Licensee confirmed that the references were not in return for payment or other valuable consideration from the venue or the event organisers to TV99, the programme makers, or any person connected with either.
TV99 emphasised that it had made no commercial or other gain from the programme and that it did not intentionally breach Rules 9.2, 9.4 and 9.5. The Licensee added that at no time did the owners, employees or customers of the commercial entities referred to have any influence on the content of the broadcast, and that the programme was based on informing the community about the festival of Vaisakhi.
Ofcom is concerned that the TV99’s comments in this case imply a fundamental misunderstanding of the requirements of Section Nine of the Code relating to the promotion of products, services and trade marks. In light of this, Ofcom will invite the Licensee to attend a meeting to discuss the rules in question.