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ICASA announces hearings on broadcast ads and infomercials

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South Africa’s communications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), has announced that it will hold public hearings on draft regulations governing advertising, infomercials and program sponsorship for broadcasting service licensees.

ICASA said in a statement: “The Authority published draft Code and Regulations on Advertising, Infomercials and Program Sponsorship in Notice No 31903 on the 13th of February 2009. The Authority received 17 submissions and seven of them have indicated that they are interested in making oral presentations,”

“It should be noted that the hearings will be held with respect to the draft Regulations and not the Code.”

ICASA sees changes in current regulations as necessary against the backdrop of a changing global environment, rapid technological advancement and the expected impact of the Electronic Communications Act No. 36, of 2005 (the ECA).

In regulating the scheduling of advertisements, infomercials and program sponsorships, ICASA said it wished to balance the interests of broadcasters and advertisers on the one hand with those of listeners and viewers on the other.

The hearings will be held in Sandton next month.

— Mthulisi Sibanda

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