ATV - Asia Television Limited

TV stations warned over misleading ads, news errors

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 March, 2010, 12:00am

The city's television broadcasters should be more careful about airing misleading claims in advertisements and identifying people wrongly in news programmes, the Broadcasting Authority has warned.

The official response followed complaints from the public about the television ads 'Whisper - Roller Coaster' and 'PCCW 1000M+ Fibre Optic Broadband'.

The Whisper ad, aired on the ATV Home and TVB Jade channels in August, said Whisper Invisible was the thinnest panty liner in the city.

The complainants said the claim was false, incapable of being substantiated and misleading to consumers as the panty liner was thin only along the edges, while the absorbent pad in the middle was thicker than those of other brands.

The ad backed the claim using a study conducted by the advertiser, Procter & Gamble Hong Kong. The authority found the broadcasters had not exercised reasonable diligence in this case and said the complaints were justified. It strongly advised ATV and TVB to follow the Television Advertising Code more closely.

Similarly, the PCCW ad, which was screened in English and Chinese, came under scrutiny for its claim on the extent of its broadband coverage.

The authority found that claims of 'complete or full coverage' in the Chinese version could not be supported since PCCW's service covered only two-thirds of households. The ad was broadcast from November 22 to December 6, 2007, on ATV and TVB channels, and on the i-Cable Finance Info and i-Cable News channels. It ran on now Business News and now Sports 1, 2 and 3 from November 22 to 30, 2007.

Cable TV also received a warning for wrongly identifying a local swimmer in a group photo as one who had tested positive for dope. The news programme aired on November 16 and 17 last year.

TVB Jade, on its 9.45pm and 11pm shows on December 29, used a photo of a footballer who had the same name as that of another football player jailed for rape.