Broadcaster To Ensure That Editorial Employees Do Not Appear In Commercials

Author:Ms Delia Fehr-Bosshard (VISCHER AG)
Profession:Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)

The Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) held that the Swiss Radio and Television Corporation (SRG SSR) violated the requirement for separation of advertising from editorial programs by broadcasting commercials in the program showing one of its co-hosts.

In its decision, Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) interpreted the prohibition for broadcaster's "permanent editorial employees" to participate in the its advertising broadly. OFCOM considers the reason for the employee's engagement by the broadcaster and the association made by the audience as relevant criteria to determine a permanent editorial employment. Only employees engaged as expert commentators due to their expertise in fields, such as sports or culture, do not fall under the prohibition.

In the present case, the co-host was engaged on a case-by-case basis only. However, OCFOM found that her appearance in several...

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