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IRIS 2012-4:1/6

Albania

Regulator Assumes a More Active Role in Monitoring Broadcasting Content

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Ilda Londo

Albanian Media Institute, Research Coordinator

In recent times the National Council of Radio and Television (NCRT) has been significantly more active in monitoring broadcasting content of television stations and taking relevant decisions.

So, in February 2012, the NCRT banned the broadcasting of an advertising spot of a mobile company, deeming it as a spot “that promotes a behaviour that endangers the normal health and psychic development of children.” The mobile company appealed this decision before the Council of Complaints at the NCRT. Both the Council and the psychologists' reports said that the spot contained elements that might foster violent behaviour. As a result, the NCRT's previous decision to immediately stop broadcasting this advertising spot remained in force. However, the NCRT monitoring efforts noted that the programme ”Zonë e Lirë” on the national TV Klan broadcast the spot and violated the decision of the NCRT. The regulator appealed to the programme provider to stop violating ethical norms as indicated by law and NCRT decisions.

The NCRT has also monitored advertising spots and product placement in several TV stations, noting irregularities. The monitoring showed that the local TV station UTV broadcast some advertising spots with “subtitles” on the upper part of the screen during newscasts. The Law on Broadcasting explicitly states that advertising spots may not be broadcast during news programmes. In addition, the TV station exceeded the allowed 12-minute advertising time per hour. The NCRT warned the station that, if these practices continued, sanctions would follow.

The regulator also warned Ora News TV to stop broadcasting advertising spots in foreign languages at a time when the law states that advertising should only be in the Albanian language. Finally, the regulator noted that in spite of an earlier decision that was issued regarding surreptitious advertising in a programme broadcast by TV Klan, the provider of the programme continued to refer to specific products and services that were not clearly marked as advertising. While amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, currently under discussion in Parliament, address the issue of product placement and advertising, the current regulation does not allow surreptitious advertising. Hence, the regulator again warned the TV station to stop this practice.

References
KKRT-ja rrëzon ankesën e AMC-së, për “internetin 3G” SQ
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15701
 
  NCRT press release      
Njoftim për Media, Tiranë më, 07.03.2012
  NCRT press release      
Njoftim për Media, Tiranë më, 23.02.2012 SQ
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15703
 
  NCRT press release      
Njoftim për Media, Tiranë më, 20.02.2012 SQ
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=15704
 
  NCRT press release