Bengali entertainment channel NTV has breached sponsorship rules and exceeding the advertisement times.
The channel broadcasts a delayed feed of content originally broadcast on NTV in Bangladesh.
‘Shastho Protidin’ was a studio-based programme in which the presenter Dr Tahmina Akter Muniya and a guest discussed various health issues.
The opening and closing programme credits contained a logo for Pran Milk, a brand of milk made by a Bangladeshi company. There was no on-screen text or voiceover to indicate to viewers that the programme was sponsored by the company.
On four occasions during the programme, when the presenter’s name appeared in an on-screen caption, Pran Milk’s logo appeared next to her name for a few seconds. On one other occasion the same logo appeared next to the on-screen caption of the guest’s name.
When the programme returned after an advertising break, the Pran Milk logo appeared with the on-screen text, “You’re watching Pran Milk ‘Shastho Protidin’”
NTV confirmed to Ofcom that neither it, nor any connected personnel, had received any payment or other valuable consideration for the inclusion of the references to Pran Milk during the programme, and therefore the references had not been subject to any product placement arrangement in the UK.
In addition, throughout the same programme and throughout the NTV news during the 16:00 to 17:00, a small box appeared in the bottom righthand corner, above the scroll bar, for a total of 27 minutes and 40 seconds. The following text appeared in this box: “Discuss advertising your business with NTV. Md. Aktaruzzaman Italy Tel: [number] [email address] Shahin Ahmed France Tel: [number] [email address] Masud Reza German Tel: [number].”
Ofcom noted that during the commercial breaks between 16:00 and 17:00, there were approximately seven minutes and 25 seconds of advertising.
Therefore, the amount of advertising broadcast between 16:00 and 17:00 was 34 minutes and five seconds. Rule 4 of the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (“COSTA”) states: “Time devoted to television advertising and teleshopping spots on any channel in any one hour must not exceed 12 minutes.”