TRAI Puts Its Foot Down: TV Ads Can't Exceed 12 Mins Per Hour
TRAI Puts Its Foot Down: TV Ads Cant Exceed 12 Mins Per Hour
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a new regulation under which, television channels cannot show advertisements in excess of twelve minutes per hour. As directed under the Standards of Quality of Service Regulations 2012, the authority has further stated that shortfall in duration during any clock hour cannot be carried over either.
That is not where the stipulations end. The statement further specifies that the minimum time gap between two consecutive ad breaks should not be less than 15 minutes. When broadcasting movies, this minimum time gap has been set at 30 minutes. Moreover, advertisers cannot increase audio levels to pull viewer attention, it needs to be in sync with ... the audio level of the programmes being broadcast in the channel.
The move comes after TRAI noticed several complaints from the consumers, being raised across several forums with respect to duration, repetition, increased audio levels in ads, and misplaced break timings that hamper viewing continuity, among other things. With this, not only will channels have to increase play time of shows, especially during primetime, but this will also ensure that viewers get access to more content in the stipulated airtime. Although Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) regulates ad-content related issues in the country, TRAI has stepped in because this does not deal with content, but takes into account regulatory issues with respect to duration and timing of commercials.
However, these regulations will not come into effect during live relays of sporting events. TRAI has clarifed, The advertisements during live broadcast of a sporting event should be only during the breaks in the sporting action. The statement also adds that only full-screen ads should be put up and part-screen and drop-down advertisements would not be permitted.
With the digitization process gaining momentum, and set top boxes coming into force by 1st July in several cities, TV lovers will surely welcome this move with open arms. They can finally watch their favourite shows with better picture quality and fewer interruptions or buying compulsions.