Broadcasting Promotions (‘Promos’) and Advertisements

In 2016 nearly half of all the complaints made to the Advertising Standards Authority were about television advertisements.  Far fewer complaints were made about radio advertisements – they accounted for just 6% of complaints.

Source: ASA 2016 Annual Report

Television and radio advertising falls under the Advertising Standards Authority’s jurisdiction as encompassed in our definition of an advertisement.

“Advertising and advertisement(s)” are any message, the content of which is controlled directly or indirectly by the advertiser, expressed in any language and communicated in any medium with the intent to influence the choice, opinion or behaviour of those to whom it is addressed.”

However, under the Broadcasting Act, programme promotions (‘promos’) for programmes or the promotion of a channel or station identity on television or radio are not considered advertising for the purposes of the ASA Codes.

On television, promos preview upcoming programmes and generally use images from the programme itself to entice the audience to tune in. These fall within the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s jurisdiction and are covered by Guideline 2e of the Broadcasting Standards for free-to-air television and Guideline 2g of the Standards for pay television, which require that the placement and content of promos comply with the classifications of the programmes in which they are screened (the ‘host programme’). In the case of unclassified host programmes (including news and current affairs) broadcast in G or PGR time, promos must be classified G or PGR and broadcasters are asked to also consider children’s interests.

On radio, promos may include sound bites from shows previously broadcast or upcoming content, including comment from the hosts and promotion of the station identities. The Radio Code details the standards that apply to all radio content broadcast in New Zealand.