ZEE TV UK has been pulled up by Ofcom for a breach relating to product placement during an episode of the now defunct local show ‘ZEE Companion’.
The broadcaster aired the show on 18th January 2019, in which a representative from the channel’s regular advertiser Leather Sofa World was a guest in the concerned episode. The programme featured a phone-in competition in which viewers had the chance to win a sofa.
During the first half of the programme, there were eight references to Leather Sofa World that included the full brand name or the website address “LeatherSofaWorld.com”. There were also two instances in which text was displayed in the bottom of the screen that said “[guest name], Director of LeatherSofaWorld.com”.
ZEE TV accepted that the references to Leather Sofa World in the programme “could be understood by the viewer to meet the definition of product placement” and said that it would “like to apologise to the viewer”. It told Ofcom that an individual working on the programme had not liaised with ZEE TV’s compliance team
Ofcom acknowledged the steps taken by ZEE TV to address these compliance issues. However, for the reasons set out by Ofcom’s decision is that the programme was in breach of Rules 9.9, 9.10 and 9.14 of the Code.