Sunday 22nd September 2019

Advertisement Bill Proposes Imprisonment Up to a Year for Advertisement Offences

Advertisement Bill Section 25 (2) proposes one year in jail and up to NPR 10,000 as fine or both for media publishers and broadcast companies owners if advertisement is offensive
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Advertisement Bill Proposes Imprisonment Up to a Year for Advertisement Offences

The much-protested Advertisement Bill was endorsed by the Development and Technology Committee of the lower house of the parliament on August 21, 2019.

With the introduction of the bill, offenders (media owners) will be liable up to one year in jail for advertisement-related offences.

Committee Chairperson Kalyani Khadka said that the committee unanimously endorsed the given bill, supporting its provisions on punishment for advertisement offences prescribed by the National Offences.

“The committee has unanimously endorsed the bill without making any changes to the punishment-related provisions. I will table the committee’s report in the House soon for endorsement,” said Khadka.

Provisions of the Advertisement Bill

Parliament Nepal

  • Advertisement Bill Section 25 (2) proposes one year in jail and up to NPR 10,000 as fine or both for media publishers and broadcast companies owners if advertisement on their media is found offensive
  • Advertisement Bill Section 5 states that publication or broadcast of advertisements including false information or banned content can cost the offender imprisonment.
  • This includes content which:
    • Affects Fair competition in products and services
    • Exposes information confidential by law
    • Makes comparison between goods, products and services

Similarly, publication of advertisements that infringe trademark, patent or design owned by another company, discourage domestic products, affect elections, define labor, or instill gender-based discrimination are defined as offences under the law.

Section 5 also states that promoting usage of banned goods or services, goods and services not authorized for sale in Nepal and medicines to be sold only on doctor’s prescription or promoting unethical practices such as vulgarity, gambling, taboos and unauthorized lotteries are punishable by imprisonment as a threat to peace and security.

  • The bill also prescribes punishment for broadcasting advertisements on certain issues in other hours besides the time allotted by the Advertisement Board.
  • The bill also proposes punishment for media owners publishing and broadcasting advertisements without identification of advertisers with a fine of NPR 1000,000
  • The bill also gives the Advertisement Board the authority to regulate advertisements, make policy and distribute government advertising to state-owned and private media.

Once the bill is revised by the lower house committee, the clean-feed system will be implemented after a year. The policy will enable television signal distributors to replace advertisements in foreign television channels with local advertisements.

August 22, 2019 |

 
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