Program concessions from the Satellite and Cable Board
The Satellite and Cable Board makes the final administrative decisions concerning program concessions for broadcasting via satellite or cable which goes beyond a local area. The Board has granted eight program concessions. Only four of these are in current
1) CIAC A/S. (The DK4 channel). The concession is for cable based TV broadcasting, granted 13 October 1994. The programming covers politics, social issues and the environment - entertainment and culture - education -
business related programs - debates. The DK4 channel started transmitting in December 1994.
2) Danish Satellite TV. Concession for satellite based TV programmes. Granted 13 December 1994. The programmes are mostly of pornographic nature. The channel started transmitting 24 February 1995.
3) Z-TV. Concession for satellite based TV programmes. Granted 6 March 1995. The programming will contain the following mix: One third of the programmes will be music related, with particular emphasis on music videos. One third of the programmes will be fact oriented, including debates, fashion, trends and culture.
The last third will be fictional in the form of series, movies and shows. The transmissions started in March 1995.
4) Voice of Scandinavia. The concession was granted 24 October 1994 for satellite based radio. The programmes are mostly music targeted at a young audience. The transmissions have started.
5) MultiChoice A/S. The concession was granted 28 June 1994 for cable based TV programmes. The programming will consist mainly of movies and series.
6) G.O. Marketing Aps. The concession was granted on 24 October 1994 for satellite based TV programs. The programming is stated as mainly pornographic.
7) The company Pay Per View in Denmark. The concession was granted 24 October 1994 for cable based TV programs. The programming will consist of mainly films, series and other forms of entertainment, sport events, video games, educational and cultural programmes.
8) The company Pay Per View in Denmark. The concession was granted 6 December 1994 for cable based TV programs. The programming is stated as interactive video games.
Since a concession will be withdrawn if it has not been used for one year, this overview of current concessions can only be regarded as a snapshot of the present situation.
The annual report from the Radio and TV Commercial Board
In Denmark, the final administrative decisions concerning radio and TV commercials are made by the Radio and TV Commercial Board. The Board also handles issues concerning the factual contents of commercials. In addition, the Board also advises the Minister
of Culture on the contents of radio and TV commercials. The Board annual report for 1994 was issued in April.
According to the annual report, the Board has handled 26 issues concerning the contents of commercials: 22 of them were commercial shown in the country-wide TV 2, two were commercials shown on local TV, and two were broadcast on local radio.
In eight of the 22 issues concerning TV 2, the Board found that the commercials violated current rules. In four of the issues, the Board requested that future commercials should not contain similar material.
In the four issues concerning local radio and TV, the Board found that in all cases, the current rules for advertising had been violated.
The annual report points out that the private complaints were more numerous than in previous years: The percentage was 63 in 1994, compared to a percentage of 33 in 1994. In 1994, there were no competitor complaints, whereas there were 10 such among a total of 21 in 1993.
Two of the issues which were under consideration in 1994 were given significant publicity. One of them was a commercial series of 78 spots for a supermarket chain, and the other a series of three spots for a certain car. In both series, children below the age of 14 participated. The issues were raised by the Board on its own initiative following informal requests. The Board found that the commercials were made in a way which obviously violated paragraph 23, section 1 in the Regulations for commercials and sponsoring in radio and TV. According to this paragraph, children below the age of 14 may only take part in commercials when they either are a natural part of the depicted environment or when they explain or demonstrate products that are related to children.
In the commercial spots for the supermarket chain, small children were shown playing shop in a regular kitchen. They exchanged words with a more or less indirect connection to the article which was in focus in the following picture sequence, which did not contain any children.
In the car commercial, several small children playing were with wooden toy cars. An adult male voice described the car model while this was shown. At the end of each commercial, one of the small toy cars was rolled into the middle of the
screen. In the following picture sequence, which did not contain any children, the toy car was expanded into a real car of the brand and make which was advertised, while the audiences was encouraged to visit car dealerships during the weekend.
The Board found that the participation of the children was not needed to explain or demonstrate the use of the products. Likewise, the Board found that no claim could be made that their participation was a natural part of the environments depicted, which was found to be the sales or usage environments of the products. The implication is that it is OK to show children in sequences shot in stores, as long as this is done in a natural way, according to the rule stated in paragraph 23, section.
These rules also state that it is legal to show children using the products, at home or elsewhere. Shots of a fictitious buying situation (like playing shop), is definitely outside the rule, since it means that children are used for commercial purposes with no relation to the product in question.
The decision of the Radio and TV Commercial Board in these two matters attracted a certain amount of publicity, and the Minister of Culture asked the Board to express whether there was a need to change the current rules concerning the participation of children in commercials.
In the statement from the Board, the majority fraction expressed a need for a liberalisation of radio and TV commercial rules in order for them - while staying within the rules of the Marketing law - to be co-ordinated as closely as possible with current EU rules. According to the minority fraction, it would be better to exercise a more rigid control of the rules even foreign TV stations are supposed to follow, rather than weakening the Danish rules for TV commercials.
Furthermore, according to the annual report, the Board has also raised the issue of hidden commercials in local radio and TV with the Minster of Culture.
Consequently, the question will be discussed at a meeting between the boards for Local Radio and TV and Radio and TV Commercial.
Finally, the Board states that the development concerning radio and TV commercials is basically satisfactory, and that the number of complaints is very low compared to the number of commercials which are broadcast. In TV 2, 2.761 different commercials were sent, and only 22 complaints were made. Of those, eight were considered to be in violation of rules.
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