These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Advertising Standards Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Scheduling of Advertising
Complaint from: 1 viewer
In an edition of the series Smallville shown on E4 on 26 May, an advertising break occurred in the middle of a critical scene.
A viewer complained that this contravened the ITC's Rules on the Amount and Scheduling of Advertising.
RASA rule 5.1 states that:
Breaks within programmes may be taken only at a point where some interruption in continuity would, in any case, occur (even if there were no advertising) and such natural breaks must not damage the integrity or value of the programme in which they occur.
RASA rule 6.2 - concerning drama and situation comedy programmes states:
A break may be taken only when:
(i) there is a clearly marked and dramatically significant lapse of time in the action, or
(ii) there is a complete change of scene, with a significant break in the continuity of action, or
(iii) in the case of adaptation from stage plays, the original intervals in the stage play may be regarded as natural breaks.
E4 explained that programmes acquired from abroad arrive with the advertising breaks that existed in their country of origin still intact. E4's normal procedure is to close up some of these, but to use those that comply with the ITC's rules on frequency of breaks. Unfortunately, on this occasion it had not picked up that the break had taken place in the middle of a scene.
E4 assured the ITC that it would reiterate to its staff the need for breaks to be taken only where there is a clear change of scene. The ITC judged that the break taken on 26 May had breached its code.
Complaint upheld. Breach of Rules 5.1 and 6.2 of the ITC's Rules on the Amount and Scheduling of Advertising.