Nothing jolly about TVB's screaming alcohol advert

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 October, 2004, 12:00am

An 'annoying' advert for a low-alcohol drink featuring a screaming woman has earned broadcaster TVB a slap over the wrist from the broadcasting watchdog.

The Broadcasting Authority yesterday issued TVB with a strong caution for the TV commercial for Jolly Shandy broadcast on August 4 on its Jade channel. 'The BA considered that the portrayal of a woman's continuous hysterical screaming was annoying, disturbing and had an unnerving effect on the audience,' the authority said.

The watchdog said the broadcaster should observe courtesy and good taste in advertising.

In another ruling, the authority fined broadcaster ATV $210,000 after the show Catering Specialist II aired on July 10, 17 and 24 gave 'undue prominence' to the sponsoring restaurants.

'The BA considered all three editions of the programme were blatant contraventions of the Code of Practice governing indirect advertising and undue prominence,' it said in a statement yesterday.

In a separate case, the watchdog fined radio station Metro Broadcast $80,000 for failing to broadcast public announcements and half-hourly news from April to July on its English station, Metro Plus.

TVB and Commercial Radio were also both issued with strong cautions for running 'unsubstantiated' advertisement claims of 'Diamond Energy Water' on June 8 and July 2, respectively.

The product claimed to be capable of breaking down water molecules so humans and plants could easily absorb them.

The companies should have verified whether the claims were true, the authority said.

The watchdog also cautioned ATV for saying a wrong answer given by a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? during a May 23 broadcast was correct.

ATV should observe the broadcasting code for 'accuracy of factual content of programmes', the authority said.