Unlawful political advertising by TV Company Obiektivi06 September, 2017
On June 15, the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) found that TV company Rustavi 2 had violated the law by airing a political advertisement outside the pre-election period. This precedential decision banned broadcasters from airing political ads outside pre-election periods.
Despite this decision, over the last two weeks TV company Obiektivi has been actively broadcasting various videos (for example, this one: https://goo.gl/Snk9hb), where members of the political party Alliance of Patriots speak about different topics, including their vision of the new Constitution and mistakes made by the government, and call on viewers to attend their planned demonstration. We believe that the GNCC and the State Audit Office must look into this issue.
TV company Obiektivi has been airing videos of the Alliance of Patriots since August 1. Even though these videos do not contain visual indications of being pre-election political ads (paid / free political advertising and election subject), based on content they clearly constitute political advertising. Therefore, a broadcaster is airing political ads outside the pre-election period, which has been prohibited by the June 15 decision of the GNCC. This decision is being challenged by Rustavi 2 in court.
Moreover, these videos constitute a donation of Obiektivi to the political party Alliance of Patriots, which is also incompatible with Georgian law.
We call on:
- The Georgian National Communications Commission and the State Audit Office - to look into this issue and take appropriate measures.
- TV company Obiektivi and political party Alliance of Patriots - to stop airing political ads before the official launch of the pre-election period.