Update: 17 December 2008
The Broadcasting Authority (BA) approved the following revisions to the BA Codes of Practice pursuant to Section 3(3) of the Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap. 562):
(a) to revise Chapter 6 of the Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards to allow the advertising nicotine replacement therapy products which are listed in the Part II of the Schedule to the Poison List Regulations, subject to, among others, specified conditions to ensure safe use of such products and restrictions on the broadcast hours of such advertisements;
(b) to revise Chapter 12 of the Generic Code of Practice on Television Programme Standards (TV Programme Code) to allow announcements of programme changes in form of superimposed text within programme on television; and
(c) to revise Chapter 12 of the TV Programme Code to, among others, extend the duration of in-programme promotions from 8 seconds to 10 seconds in each programme segment or a programme without breaks.
The above revisions have been made effective on 12 December 2008 upon gazettal.
GENERIC CODE OF PRACTICE ON TELEVISION ADVERTISING STANDARDS
Chapter 6 Specific Categories of Advertisement
DOMESTIC FREE, DOMESTIC PAY AND OTHER LICENSABLE TELEVISION PROGRAMME SERVICES
Medical Preparations and Treatments
Restricted Medical Preparations
9. Advertisements for medical preparations which are included in:
(a) Part I of the Schedule to the Poisons List Regulations (Cap.138B); or
(b) Schedule 1 to the Antibiotics Regulations (Cap.137A),
are not acceptable.
Unacceptable Products or Services
10. Advertisements for products or services coming within the recognised character of, or specifically concerned with, the following are not acceptable:
(a) smoking cessation: this does not preclude advertisements for nicotine replacement therapy products which are listed in Part II of the Schedule to the Poisons List Regulations (Cap. 138B) provided that such advertisements are not shown within or in proximity to children’s programmes and that the licensee must ensure that advertisements for nicotine replacement therapy products should:
(i) comply with all relevant provisions relating to tobacco advertisements (including any illustration or mentioning of smoking) under the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Cap. 371). Please refer to sections 2 and 14 of Cap. 371 for definitions of “smoking” and “tobacco advertisement”;
(ii) not be shown between 4:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. each day on domestic free television programme services or at times when television programmes, in the opinion of the BA, target young persons under the age of 18;
(iii) make it clear that the advertised nicotine replacement therapy products are aids for smoking cessation(Note 1);
(iv) not claim that:
(1) the advertised nicotine replacement therapy products can cure smoking addiction;
(2) smoking is made safer whilst the habit is being reduced; and
(v) contain the advisory message visually and/or aurally: “Please consult healthcare professionals for more details of the product”.
GENERIC CODE OF PRACTICE ON TELEVISION PROGRAMME STANDARDS
Chapter 12 Other Programme Matters
DOMESTIC FREE AND DOMESTIC PAY TELEVISION PROGRAMME SERVICES
11. Where programmes are not shown in accordance with publicly announced or published programme schedules, the licensee should take reasonable steps to inform viewers of such changes. These steps may include making on-screen announcements at the beginning of the scheduled time of the programmes affected and at other appropriate times when the intended audience of the programme might be watching television. This rule does not apply to video-on-demand programme services and channels acquired for direct re-transmission where in the opinion of the BA the licensee has no control over the scheduling of programmes.
11A. Notwithstanding the rule in paragraph 1 of Chapter 8 of the Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards (i.e. restriction on the placing of advertising or non-programme material in a programme), announcement of programme changes, regardless whether or not such changes have been publicly announced or published, within a programme in the form of superimposed text is allowed subject to the following rules:
(a) the form of presentation of such announcement should be in compliance with the rules set out in subparagraphs (a) to (d) of paragraph 15A of this chapter;
(b) the information provided in the text is restricted to the title of the programme(s) being affected, reference to the change in broadcast date/time, its appropriate programme classification symbol, if any, and the broadcast channel;
(c) such announcement should not be made:
(i) within programmes targeting children when it involves a programme(s) of higher programme classification; and
(ii) within the same programme segment or programme without any breaks where an in-programme promotion under paragraph 15A has been broadcast.
(d) such announcement in programme(s) or on channel(s) acquired for direct re-transmission may deviate from any of the rules set out in subparagraphs (a) to (c) above provided that the licensee shall take all reasonable steps to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that any deviation should be kept to the minimum necessary.
In-Programme Promotions for a Programme in the form of Superimposed Text
15A. A promotion for a programme in the form of superimposed text within programmes (“in-programme promotion”) is subject to the following rules:
(b) the superimposition should appear not more than once and not more than 10 seconds within each programme segment or a programme without breaks;
(c) the text superimposed on screen should not be split up into different parts appearing at different times within each programme segment or a programme without breaks;
(i) in-programme promotions in programme(s) or on channel(s) acquired for direct re-transmission may deviate from any of the rules set out in subparagraphs (a) to (h) above provided that the licensee shall take all reasonable steps to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that any deviation should be kept to the minimum necessary.
OTHER LICENSABLE TELEVISION PROGRAMME SERVICES
Services Intended for Members of the General Public in HK
18. The licensee must comply with the rules set out in paragraphs 1 to 11A above.
(Note 1) It is recognized that it takes determination and perseverance as well as a healthy lifestyle for one to quit smoking successfully.