The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has launched its revised General Commercial Communications Code today (28 March). The code lays out the rules that Irish radio and television stations must comply with when it comes to airing advertising, sponsorship, product placement and other forms of commercial communications.
The revised code will come into effect on 1 June, 2017. It was developed by the BAI following a statutory review of its current set of rules and a public consultation on a revised draft.
Updates made in this latest revision include new rules for financial advertisements, as well as a clearer distinction of the difference between ‘sponsorship’ and ‘product placement’.
Regarding radio advertisements for financial services and products, the revised code excludes time for mandatory regulatory statements from the permitted ‘advertising minutage’ allotted to broadcasters. This affords financial advertisements a better opportunity to market their products to consumers, and for broadcasters to grant time to these advertisers.
The revised code also offers a definition for the difference between product placement and sponsorship. If a product or service is built into the action of the programme, it is product placement; if sponsor announcements or references are shown during a programme but are not part of the plot or narrative of the programme, they qualify as sponsorship.
Speaking at the launch of the revised General Commercial Communications Code, Professor Pauric Travers, Chairperson of the BAI, said: “During the public consultation undertaken as part of the Statutory review process, the BAI received valuable feedback from a range of stakeholders in the broadcasting sector as well as from other business representatives, and much of this is reflected in the final version of the Code, which is being launched today.
“While the broadcasting landscape is constantly evolving, the BAI is satisfied that the Code is sufficiently robust to provide direction and clarity to broadcasters over the coming years,” Travers said.
BAI Chief Executive, Michael O’Keeffe, also spoke on the update: “The aim of the revised Code is to give the public the confidence that commercial communications on television and radio are legal, decent, honest, truthful, and protect their interests. It is also intended to provide greater clarity and certainty for Irish broadcasters on the standards that they should apply.”
The BAI General Commercial Communications Code applies to all broadcasters that fall under Irish jurisdiction and is required to undergo review every four years.
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