Violation of the Rules for Referendum-Related Advertising

Skopje, 14 September 2018 – Based on the monitoring of the media coverage related to the forthcoming Referendum, the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services found several violations of the rules for airing paid public propaganda with a number of broadcasters.

The permitted airtime for airing the advertising messages “IN FAVOUR” of the Referendum is not being respected, such advertisements are aired in programmes where it is not permitted – in special information programmes in particular – and the advertising related to the Referendum is not marked and not clearly separated from the other advertisements of the broadcasters.

In accordance with the Guidelines on Media Coverage during Referenda, we hereby remind of the following:

  • Advertising messages “IN FAVOUR” of the Referendum may last maximum 4 minutes and 30 seconds per each real hour of aired programme;
  • The same applies to the advertising messages “AGAINST” the Referendum, i.e. calling to “BOYCOTT” the same;
  • The total duration of all advertising messages related to the Referendum may be 9 minutes per each real hour of aired programme;
  • The regular airtime of 12 minutes designated for airing advertisements must not be used for airing paid public propaganda, which, in turn, should be clearly separated from the other advertisements;
  • Paid public propaganda must not be aired as part of newscasts, special information programmes, live broadcasts of religious, sports, cultural, entertainment and other events, as well as within and before and after children and youth’s programmes;
  • The Agency appeals to all broadcasters to harmonize the airing of paid public propaganda immediately with the Guidelines and informs that appropriate measures will be imposed against all violations detected in the following days.