Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Advert by Bono's ONE given TV ban

Bono's ONE foundation advert has been banned

Bono's ONE campaign has been stopped from showing a campaigning advert about famine in Africa on UK television because it breaches rules covering political advertising.

The minute-long film, called The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity, features stars including the U2 frontman, George Clooney and Kristin Davis and is designed to draw attention to the famine in the Horn of Africa.

Adrian Lovett, Europe director of ONE which campaigns against hunger and poverty in Africa, said it was "absurd" the advert could not be shown.

He said: "ONE is not a political party and we have no political affiliation. We recognise the purpose of the broadcasting code is to keep political propaganda off British television, but our ad highlights the desperate plight of 750,000 people in east Africa who the UN warns could die before the end of the year. Unless we keep the spotlight on this crisis and the need for urgent action, those people will be forgotten. Who can object to that message? We are challenging this decision and hope the broadcasters will reconsider."

A spokeswoman for Clearcast, which is responsible for the pre-transmission examination and clearance of television adverts, said the film could be in breach of rules laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

She said: "These rules ensure that adverts aren't being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political. ONE appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d'etre is to pressure political leaders. It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules."

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