Flemish media regulator VRM has fined VT4 for breaking the region’s ad rules, and ordered the channel to pay €10,000 in fines.
The regulator considered three breaches of the advertising and sponsoring regulations by the SBS-owned channel. For the first count, not identifying break bumpers as advertising, the channel only received a warning. The second count involves a promotional spot for a ringtone following the homebuilding reality show ‘The Block’. According to the VRM, VT4 failed to inform its audience that this legally is considered teleshopping.
Chocolate manufacturer Côte d’Or, sponsored a group of some-what better known Flemish people following in the footsteps of famous explorer HM Stanley, across Africa. According to the regulator the sponsor’s message, following the show ‘Stanley’s Route’, lasted eight seconds, breaking the five second limit, on two occasions. VT4 contends that the elephants in the first part of the spot were part of the show and not linked and identified with Côte d’Or, which has an elephant for its logo. Only the second part being a sponsorship message by the chocolate brand, therefore the actual sponsorship message was not longer than the five seconds allowed.
The channel is considering an appeal, referring to the regulator’s interpretation of the rules as contentious.