Friday, December 05, 2008

Veritas 'bitterly disappointed' at advert ban

Catholic publisher Veritas says it is bitterly disappointed that the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has blocked it from broadcasting a Christmas radio advertisement on RTÉ.

It says the Commission's action comes despite RTÉ's willingness to broadcast the ad. Veritas claims it will have to take further action as the ban is seriously affecting its capacity to trade.

The publisher and retailer says it has been trying since early last month to get the BCI's approval of the advert's content, which publicises its Christmas products.

This week a third draft was blocked by the BCI.

Veritas accuses the Commission of taking an extremely narrow view of broadcasting legislation. It claims the BCI is unfairly applying somewhat different standards to Veritas than to other bodies.

A spokesman told RTÉ News that one local radio station in the midwest is advertising cribs.

Veritas Director Maura Hyland contrasted the Commission's acceptance of a myriad of alcohol adverts with its blocking of the company's ads for harmless and inoffensive products.

Threatening to take further unspecified action, Ms Hyland says the company's very existence in a competitive marketplace is being threatened by the Commission's actions.

In a statement, the BCI says the proposed scripts may not comply with legal limitations on advertising directed towards a religious end.

The regulator says that, to date, Veritas has not taken up its offer to break the impasse through alternative wording for the script.

The BCI also says it has made suggestions to the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources on possible amendments to the section of proposed new legislation dealing with advertising directed towards a religious end.

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(Source: RTÉ)

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