Mayor of Tower Hamlets’ adverts breached Ofcom code
17:11 23 January 2013
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.