[17/07] Consultation Document: Interpretation concerning Programmes on Vehicles


Media Release 17/07

Consultation Document: Broadcasting Authority   Interpretation concerning Programmes on Vehicles

The Authority has had the   opportunity to discuss programmes on vehicles to see how this type of   programme is regulated in Europe and to carry out a monitoring exercise of   currently produced programmes on Maltese television channels. The Authority   wishes to emphasise that this type of programme should not be of an   advertising nature but of an informative and educational one. Naturally, the   current laws will still apply to such programmes but the Authority wishes to   interpret these laws vis-à-vis such programmes. The Authority is proposing   that such programmes should conform with effect from 1st October 2007 to the   following:

a) Programmes on vehicles   shall not be considered in breach of the advertising regulations if several   vehicle products produced, imported, retailed or hired by different automobile   manufacturers, importers, sellers or hirers are presented during the same   series of the same programme;

b) it is allowed to mention   the brand name of the vehicle and to sum up the good as well as bad aspects   of the vehicle in question. But it shall not be acceptable to mention only   the positive aspects of the said vehicle or to have repeated close-ups of the   vehicle’s brand name or any close-ups of the showroom from where the vehicle   is exhibited, sold or hired. The producer shall ensure that the programme is   balanced when dealing with such positive and negative vehicle features;

c) it shall not be permissible   to invite viewers or listeners to buy such vehicles during such programmes;

d) whilst sponsorship of a   programme on vehicles by an importer, seller, agent, hirer, etc. is allowed,   it shall not be permissible for such a person to sponsor either in part or in   whole the series of programmes on vehicles where more than half of the   vehicles so sponsored are sold or hired by the said person. Nor shall it be   possible for such a person to sponsor a programme which features only the   vehicles imported, sold or hired by the said person;

e) it shall be prohibited for   a vehicle seller or agent to sponsor or advertise that edition of the   programme where the vehicles imported or sold by that agent feature in that   particular episode;

f) the review of a vehicle’s   features should not be conducted by a member of the importer’s or agent’s   staff but by an independent expert such as a mechanic, vehicle enthusiast,   etc.;

g) promotional material should   be avoided. Promotional material includes foreign promotional material   supplied by the vehicle’s manufacturer or producer and which contains details   of an advertising nature; or when the vehicle is given undue prominence   beyond the informational pursuit. Undue prominence is given when the price of   the vehicle is provided or from which agent or importer it can be purchased,   the address, telephone number or other contact details of the importer or   agent are supplied, any website of the importer or agent are displayed or any   of the importer’s or agent’s staff participate in the programme or when the   vehicle is filmed in the showroom and the name of the importer or agent or   other details of the showroom are given so as to identify from which importer   or agent that vehicle can be purchased;

h) vehicle includes cars,   buses, trucks, motorcycles and other means of transport of any class or   description intended for the conveyance of persons or goods.

Feedback on the proposed standards should   be addressed to:

Dr Kevin Aquilina
  Chief Executive
  Broadcasting Authority
  7 Mile End Road
  Hamrun HMR02
  e-mail: ambuhagiar@ba-malta.org
  fax: 2124 0855

and should be submitted by not   later than Friday, 27th April 2007.


Mario Axiak         
Head Communications & Research 
Broadcasting Authority 

9th April 2007