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REGULATORY BODIES IN THE MEDIA SECTOR


BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM AND TELEVISION ARTS (BAFTA)
BAFTA is an independent charity promoting and rewarding film & television.
Every year there is an awards ceremony celebrating the works of others. Not
only this, but all year round BAFTA hold an international programme for industry
practitioners and emerging talent in the UK, New York & Los Angeles. BAFTA is
funded by the public through means of subscriptions, donations, trusts,
foundations and corporate partnerships. It is important as it awards bestpractice, this is important and beneficial to the producer as to get high up in the
television industry you need to have a good amount of skill, and the BAFTA
awards reward the people who have this particular skill, opening doors to the
industry further. In terms of television, when a TV show wins a BAFTA this is
important as it is recognition of the TV show and its success. For example
Gogglebox and Doctor Who were two of 2014s television BAFTA winners.
The BAFTAs are all chosen by consumer choice. Meaning all votes are done by
members of the public. This has a positive effect on the BAFTAs. The advantages
to these awards being based on consumer choice is that it reflects the needs and
wants of the current market.

TELEVISION, RADIO AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICE FOR


COMMUNICATION (OFCOM)
Ofcom are the government approved regulatory authority for broadcasting
throughout all media in the UK. They are particularly important in the television
industry as without them we wouldnt have the rules and regulations for
broadcasting in the UK. What do Ofcom do? Their main legal duties are to ensure
that all television and radio programmes are at a high quality; all
viewers/listeners are protected from harmful and offensive material and that all
viewers/listeners are being treated fairly. However, they are not responsible for
disputes between you and your telecom provider, accuracy complaints and the
content of the shows. You can make complaints to Ofcom about certain television
shows / radio broadcasts etc. you can do this via phone, internet & postal
complaints.
Ofcom have the right to ban TV shows and adverts if they breach Ofcom rules
but only after being given the opportunity to alter it. If the producer fails to do so
then the show will be cancelled. It tends to be adverts that get banned, this is
because it is a lot easier to follow to TV guidelines rather than advert guidelines.
For example Ofcom banned this Irn Bru advert for being irresponsible and
offensive due to the sexual scenario between the mother and the young men.
Other complaints said that this advert was demeaning to women and
inappropriate for child viewing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=0Fj8wQWm2U8. Another example would be the KFC chicken salad advert. This
advert was banned because it was described as bad mannered therefore said to
be promoting bad manners which would have a negative effect on children.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imIkeTkAopY.
Ofcom deal with thousands of complaints all done by the public. For example
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8390397.stm), in 2009 Ofcom received
the most complaints about The X Factor after judge Dannii Minogue made

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comments about a contestants sexuality. Ofcom received 4000 complaints about
this situation, making it the most complaints received.
It is essentially the consumers choice as to what does and doesnt get shown on
television because if there is enough complaints, it will get banned or altered.
The benefit to this is that it shows what viewers do and dont want to see. This
knowledge can be used to provide appropriate TV viewing for the future. In terms
of freedom of information, there is a freedom of information act stating that
information must be accurate when giving it out. For example if Ofcom were to
ban or not ban an advert resulting in the public asking why, they would have to
give the correct information in order to abide by the act.
Being the regulatory body for most media sectors, Ofcom are in charge of the
censorship in TV. As they make the rules as to what is and isnt allowed on
television and when is the appropriate viewing time. Ofcom dont have the power
to approve television shows before they air, they can only take action once it has
been aired. This is an issue as they are unable to see if the correct censorship is
in place in order for the show to be suitable and appropriate. They have set rules
on taste & decency in order to prevent shows from being inappropriately
censored. Nothing is allowed to include material that incites illegal activity or
being offensive to the public; no editorial material which isnt suitable for
younger viewing mustnt be shown before the watershed (9pm).

ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY (ASA)


The ASA is the company in charge of deciding what adverts can and cant be
aired, as well as which ones need to be modified to make them fit for viewing in
the UK. They look at the content of the advert and see if it violates the
advertising codes. Any adverts including harmful and misleading content will be
asked to change or they may even ban the advert. These advertising codes were
written by the Committee of Advertising Practice. The ASA predominantly look at
whether adverts include alcohol; gambling; tobacco; racism; children within
advertising and health & beauty products. This is because these adverts are the
most likely to include harmful or misleading material. In 2012 they considered
31,298 complaints about 18,990 adverts. Since 1961 the ASA and CAP
(Committee of Advertising Practice) have been proactively protecting viewers
from harmful or misleading adverts. CAP are the company who write the
television regulations. They have the right to ban adverts that breach ASA
regulations. For example this Toyota GT86 advert. This ad was said to have
condone dangerous and irresponsible driving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=K6Pb_tmPKGk.
Similarly to Ofcom, the ASA deal with a lot of complaints all done by the viewers,
these complaints allow the ASA to see what the public want to see on their
screens as well as what they are appalled to see. This helps advertising in the
future as it helps to set specific rules and guidelines for advert producers to
follow. Again, similarly to Ofcom the ASA set certain regulations for
advertisements meaning they are in charge of what adverts can and cant be
aired. For example this screenshot from an Yves Saint Lauren advert; this ad was
banned as it was suggested to promote being unhealthy as the model is
incredibly underweight. In terms of taste & decency the ASA pride themselves on

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looking out for adverts which would be untasteful and harmful to viewers. For
example this advert was said to be promoting racismt and was distasteful to the
public. ASAs rules on taste and decency are; advertisements should contain
nothing that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence; special care is
taken to avoid causing offence on the
grounds of race, religion, sex, sexual
orientation or disability; adverts will be
judged on context, medium, audience,
product and prevailling standards of
decency. From having these guidelines and
having the right to remove adverts, the ASA
have discovered that the main reasons why
adverts offend the public are:

They refer to sec or show nude bodies


Strong language is used or swear words
Religion is mocked
People are shown in a demeaning way
Violent situations are depicted