Nokia Lumia sponsorship of Channel 5 found in breach by Ofcom
The ‘break flashes’ by Nokia Lumia as part of its sponsorship of Channel 5, 5* and 5 USA have been found in breach by Ofcom.
The half second ‘flashes’ were found to be in breach because they did not make clear that they were sponsorship credits, although the fact was made known in 20 second idents.
Channel 5 said that, because of the flashes’ short duration, an oral sponsorship message could not be used and a message in text would also have been difficult to read.
It said it considered that the very few viewers who might have seen the flashes but not the idents would have been unlikely to mistake the flashes for advertising as they included no encouragement to purchase goods, pricing information or product demonstration.
Ofcom said that while recognising Channel 5’s arguments, in particular that the channel sponsorship relationship would become apparent to viewers from the longer idents, all sponsorship credits must comply with Rule 9.19.
In the broadcast bulletin, Ofcom said: “Where commercial exposure can be achieved for a sponsor, as it was in the flashes by using branding and the Nokia Lumia name, the material must in every case make clear the sponsorship arrangement. If an item cannot be made compliant with the rules, i.e. it is too brief for text or audio to convey the necessary sponsorship relationship, the item should not be used as a sponsorship vehicle.”