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Mayor of Tower Hamlets’ adverts breached Ofcom code

17:11 23 January 2013

Lutfur Rahman Interview

Lutfur Rahman Interview

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Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has censured five Bangladeshi television channels for carrying an advertisement amounting to a party political broadcast for Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman.

The advertisement, taken out for two weeks in January 2012, was broadcast as many as 15 times a day across five channels.

It featured photographs of Mayor Rahman in the cab of a digger and inspecting a flat, and outlined his aims for improving the borough’s housing situation. His signature and title were also shown prominently on screen throughout the 30 second broadcast.

In a ruling published earlier this week, Ofcom said: “The purpose of the advertisement was not to inform and educate the public.

“Ofcom considered that the purpose of the advertisement was to promote the Mayor in a positive light. The advertisement plainly sought to convey the aspirations of Mayor, Mr Rahman.”

The stations which carried the advertisement were Channel S; NTV; Channel I; Bangla TV; and ATN Bangla. All of the channels refuted the accusation of a breach of the code.

Tower Hamlets Council declined to comment, but submitted to Ofcom that it complied with guidelines.

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