labels: advertising/branding
EC Bans election related advertisements on TV news
Our Corporate Bureau
28 February 2004

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has barred political parties from advertising on television. In a communication to the I&B ministry, the EC said that it has "decided that rule 7(3) of the cable TV networks rules, 1994 prescribed under Section 6 (advertisement code) of the cable TV networks (regulation) Act, 1995 which prohibits advertisements on cable TV networks of political nature or towards any political end should continue to be on the statute book."

Reacting to the EC's order the information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said 'India Shining' was not a political or election-related ad. He added that the ruling party would adhere to the EC directive of not airing political /election-related ads. public broadcaster Doordarshan would also comply with the order, he said. However, monitoring the ads would be a tricky issue, sources in the government said.

A government official clarified that a political ad is one which says 'vote for such and such party' Also, as 'India Shining' is a government-backed initiative, it would be withdrawn once moral code of conduct is in place.
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Broadcasters appear to be upset with the EC directive, and are planning to take up the issue through the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). On the condition of anonymity, a broadcaster said, "we were expecting a windfall." According to an IBF official, the Foundation is writing to the EC saying that there shouldn't be any discrimination between print and electronic media.

Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) president Sam Balsara said, "it's an unfair step as far as the Opposition is concerned, because it allows the ruling party to use television to reach out to 80 million homes in the guise of the government's achievements and denies the other parties to have their say to the same 80 million homes."


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EC Bans election related advertisements on TV