Two channels slammed by Ofcom over appeals

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Two Asian broadcasters have been slammed by media regulator, Ofcom, for running appeals, earlier this year.

NTV
In August, Ofcom noted on Nepalese channel, NTV that during an extended broadcast appeal for Manchester Muslim Centre and Mosque, a sponsorship text banner was displayed on screen for over two hours.

NTV said the message was shown “for the sole purpose of giving reference points to viewers of businesses they use or know of to verify the nature of service provided by the organisation in question.” The broadcaster added that it would ensure such a message was not broadcast in future.

Ofcom said, broadcasters may choose to transmit charity appeals free of charge, and generally, in such circumstances, they may briefly acknowledge by name individuals�۪ or organisations�۪ donations to a broadcast appeal, without this raising Code issues.

In this case, it was unclear to Ofcom whether NTV�۪s reference to “the organisation in question” referred to the Manchester Muslim Centre and Mosque or the businesses that had made donations to the appeal. In any event, Ofcom was unclear how crediting the donations of the specific businesses verified the nature of the service(s)
provided by either.

In Ofcom�۪s view, there appeared to be no editorial justification for screening donation credits repeatedly in a ‘loop’ for well over two and a quarter hours during the four hour period that we monitored. The organisations listed in these credits were therefore given undue prominence.

In addition, there appeared to be no editorial justification for screening either full or partial postal addresses of the organisations concerned, which merely promoted them in the programme.

Its on the second occassion, NTV has repeated this error. In light of the repeated breach recorded in this Finding, Ofcom is putting the broadcaster on notice that it has serious concerns about NTV�۪s compliance procedures.

Bangla TV
Similarly, during an extended appeal for Somers Town Islamic Cultural & Education Centre, a sponsorship text banner was displayed on screen for over two hours on Bangla TV.

The broadcaster said that, prior to the broadcast of the extended appeal programme, Somers Town Islamic Cultural & Education Centre had taken out an advertising campaign on Bangla TV. It had sought donations off-air to pay for these advertisements the charity had broadcast on the channel.

Subsequently, and separately from these advertisements, Bangla TV broadcast the extended charity appeal for the Centre, free of charge. During this appeal, a scroll displayed references to the businesses that had made donations to fund the previously broadcast advertisements.

In Ofcom�۪s view, there appeared to be no editorial justification for featuring in a programme, funders of a third party�۪s activities (i.e. a charity�۪s advertising campaign) or for screening repeated credits over such an extended period. The businesses credited on screen in this way were therefore given undue prominence.

In addition, there appeared to be no editorial justification for screening the contact details of the businesses, which merely promoted them in the appeal programme.

Bangla TV was found in breach of two rules.

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