While it hasn’t named any specific channels, the advisory has been sent to the industry bodies and television channels
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | March 21, 2017
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on March 10, 2017 issued an advisory to the television channels to comply with rule 7(10) of the advertising code scrupulously. This is in concern with the promotional content being shown as ‘news’ content which is misleading for the audience.
Without naming the defaulters, the advisory mentions, “Whereas it has come to the notice of the MIB that some TV channels are indulging in telecasting the advertisements/ promotional programmes including those of institutions/ organisations offering educational/ financial solutions or solutions for medical problems, which are masqueraded as news items thereby misleading audience. Such 'programme' is often an 'exclusive'/ 'live' interview with the management of the institutions/ organisations, the format of which is made to look like as if it is a regular news programme/ panel interview/ discussion; also there is no indication anywhere on the screen that it is a promotional programme thereby misleading the audience who are likely to believe that it is a news item.”
The advisory has been sent to all the television channels and the industry bodies -- The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (lBF) through Puneet Goenka, President, IBF and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) through Ashish Bagga, President, NBA.
As per the Section 6 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, '1995 read with Rule 7(10) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, as amended from time to time, all advertisement should be clearly distinguishable from the programme and should not in any manner interfere with the programme .........."
The advisory also said that the MIB can exercise its powers under uplinking/ downlinking guidelines -- the terms of permission granted to the channel to uplink/ downlink TV Channels and under Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995. The ministry has advised all TV Channels to follow the provisions contained in Rule 7(10) of the Advertising Code scrupulously and exercise caution in this regard.
It also stated, “It is also brought to the notice of all TV channels that any violation of the provisions of the Programme/Advertising Codes would attract penal provisions stipulated in Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and the terms and conditions of uplinking and downlinking guidelines.”