Back on May the National Markets and Competition Commission (NMCC) issued a fine amounting 170.335€ against Mediaset1 for the broadcasting of hidden advertising of a tabloid in two of the formats of the successful celebrity gossip show "SALVAME". Coincidentally, the TV presenter in the TV Show is also a contributor to the tabloid.
The NMCC considered that the communication group infringed the General Audiovisual Communication Law, which "prohibits covert commercial communication" by covertly advertising the tabloid "Lecturas" on the TV celebrity gossip shows "Sálvame Limón" and "Sálvame Naranja" last November 8th2017.
The described facts indicate that during the cited TV shows, the magazine was presented for advertising and promotional purposes, with direct encouragement to purchase it, not only visually but also by continuous verbal references to the promoted product, as well as the presence and constant exhibition of the magazine's cover and logo and highlighted which was unnecessary if the sought purpose was purely informative. The NMCC maintains that the behavior can mislead the viewers, since even if there is a "debate" as to regards as to the published content in the tabloid, there is also a promotion of the same.
It is not the first time that the NMCC acts against Mediaset for abusive practices in advertising through its channels, in fact the company leads the ranking of fines in the sector2. Among the infringements sanctioned there is the publicity of alcohol in a protected timeframe, hidden advertising in, at least, 2 different show formats, exceeding the limits of broadcast time devoted to advertising messages and inserting advertising without interrupting programs. The Mediaset's fines add up to 5,626,964 Euros i.e. half (49%) of all audiovisual sanctions of the NMCC.
And it certainly won't be the last. Indeed two disciplinary proceedings related to "Sálvame naranja" have already been initiated for the broadcast of scenes with "inappropriate content for the reinforced protection schedule" in January and February.
As a curiosity the "SALVAME" format, was divided into "Sálvame limón" (16: 00-16: 55 +12y), with the freedom to broadcast certain contents, and "Sálvame naranja" (16: 55-20: 05 +7y), in order to requirement to adapt its contents to the legal requirements with more restrictions due to the protected schedule for childhood. Still Mediaset has managed to infringe the rules.
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