Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB) has launched a legal challenge against a ruling issued by the Communications Authority on indirect advertising in one of its shows aired late last year.
In an application for judicial review filed with the High Court on Monday, TVB contended that the CA’s May 24 decision, alleging eating fried chicken in the TV show was a breach of the Codes of Practice, was irrational, unreasonable, and contravened the Bill of Rights.
“According to our legal advice, the CA’s decision is unconstitutional because the concerned provisions of the Codes of Practice intrude on the right to free expression, and the CA is not an independent and impartial tribunal to determine TVB’s rights and obligations in a suit at law,” a TVB spokesman said.
“Product sponsorship is a practice commonly adopted by the TV industry around the world to finance their productions.”
The broadcaster added that the “heavy-handed limitations” on product sponsorship go against the international trend and are “not conducive to the development of the Hong Kong TV industry”.
The CA had said it was acting on public complaints when it handed a fine of HK$150,000 to TVB for indirect advertising during the program “TV Awards Presentation 2015”, which was aired on Dec. 13, 2015.
During the telecast, TVB aired a clip that showed its artists eating fried chicken and beverages out of containers that clearly the displayed the brand name and logo of a fast-food chain.
The clip was seen as an indirect promotion for KFC, one of the sponsors of the show.
TVB fined for indirect advertising during awards show (May 25, 2016)
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