Broadcasting guidelines

Regulation Description
United Kingdom
Regulation of e-cigarette advertising and sponsorship on television and radio.
Amendments to the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and the BCAP Code: the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising
These amendments arise from the UK Government’s implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive 2014 and will take effect from 20th May 2016.
The Audiovisual Media Services (Product Placement) Regulations 2010
(External Web Page)
This legislation permits product placement in certain types of TV programme. However, it prohibits product placement in UK-made programmes of any tobacco product including electronic or smokeless cigarettes, tobacco accessories such as lighters and cigarette papers or pipes intended for smoking.
Ofcom Broadcasting Code
(External Web Page)
The Office of Communications (Ofcom) is the regulator for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities for television, radio, telecommunications and wireless communications services. It was established on 29 December 2003.Ofcom replaces the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority.

Ofcom is required by the Communications Act 2003 to draw up a Code or Codes setting standards for programmes, sponsorship, and fairness and privacy.

Protecting children
(External Web Page)
This section of the Broadcasting code includes the portrayal of smoking and other drugs
Broadcast Guidance and Procedures
(External Web Page)
This is to assist broadcasters interpret and apply the Broadcasting code.
Section One (Rule 1.10): Drugs, smoking, solvents and alcohol abuse
(External PDF)
This section gives guidance on the inclusion of smoking and other drugs. It states that inclusion of such substances “at times when children are particularly likely to be listening must be editorially justified”.
European Union
Audiovisual Media Services Directive
EU Council Directive 89/552/EEC (In Force)
(External Web Page)The “Television Without Frontiers” Directive (TVWF) was adopted in 1989 , revised in 1997 and in 2007 became the “Audiovisual Media Services Directive
Overview of the Directives
The original Directive adopted in 1989 comprises a set of protocols that seek to harmonise broadcasting activities of member states. Trans-national broadcasting via satellite necessitates that content of national broadcasts do not prejudice the laws of other member states. Under this Directive, all television advertising promoting cigarettes and other tobacco products is prohibited including indirect advertising.This directive prohibits the advertising of all tobacco products on television including indirect advertising, which whilst not directly mentioning the tobacco product, seeks to circumvent the ban on advertising by using brand names, symbols or other distinctive features of tobacco products.

Article 13 states:

Art 13 ”All forms of television advertising for cigarettes and other tobacco products shall be prohibited.”

This was amended in 1997 (97/36/EC) to ban teleshopping for cigarettes:

Art 13 “All forms of television advertising and teleshopping for cigarettes and other tobacco products shall be prohibited”

The Directive also bans programme sponsorship by tobacco companies:

Art 17. a.2 Television programmes may not be sponsored by undertakings whose principal activity is the manufacture or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Implemented in England via The Broadcasting Act 1990. Section 93 of the Act in turn confers responsibility for control of advertisements to Ofcom.

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