Amnesty plans first TV campaign

Amnesty International is planning to air its first television advertising campaign in January, following the lifting of advertising restrictions it successfully negotiated last week.

The ads will be run with the Co-op Bank, which has an affinity card with Amnesty, and are scheduled to go out on terrestrial TV.

Both radio and TV advertising restrictions are governed by the 1990 Broadcasting Act, which stipulates that a licensed service must not include “any advertisement which is inserted by, or on behalf of, anybody whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature”.

Amnesty presented a new case to the Radio Authority on the recommendation of the Court of Appeal.

Peter Gibbings, chairman of the Authority, concluded that “a sufficient proportion of Amnesty’s objects (sic) is non-political”.

He added: “We therefore see no reason to prevent the organisation from advertising.”

Amnesty is confident that it will not have a problem getting the ad passed by the Independent Television Commission, the commercial TV regulatory body, as the advertising regulations published by the Radio Authority and the ITC are almost identical.

The organisation attempted to run a TV campaign in 1994, but the advertisement, which featured John Hurt and was broadcast on MTV, was taken off the air following complaints from the ITC.

The current execution, by Chaos Communication, promotes the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

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