Sunday, April 15, 2012
GUIDELINES FOR POLITICAL ADVERTISING
Candidates, Political parties, support and lobby groups and agencies intending to take out political advertising in any Nation Media Group medium are advised that the following guidelines shall apply:
1. Any political ad/advertorial submitted for publication or as an infomercial for TV, radio, or Online, shall be vetted and published or aired only when it passes Nation Media Group’s Guidelines for Political Advertising.
2. Any material designed as advertorials or infomercials shall be clearly branded or signposted as Advertising Feature or Advertiser’s Announcement or Advertising Documentary. If the advertisement is from a political party, it shall carry an identifying logo for the party that has been registered with the Electoral Commission of Kenya, or is being used consistently by the party. The logo or other identifier should be displayed in a clearly visible or legible manner in print and online, and for at least three seconds, either at the beginning or end of each television message.
3. Advertisement scripts must provide contact details, i.e. name of sponsoring individual, group, organization or institution and an address.
4. In the event that NMG has any doubts about the identity of the sponsoring organization or group, it will insist on a telephone contact to verify sponsors’ bon fides. A letter of authority from the party accompanying the advertisement will suffice.
5. Advertisements shall be rejected outright if they contain the following:
(a) Obscene or profane language or pictorial representation that, when taken in context, tends to or is likely to expose an individual or a group or class of individuals to hatred or contempt on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or mental or physical disability.
(b) Unwarranted attacks on the election agendas of rivals. Candidates/parties, sponsors, lobbyists shall, however, be allowed to promote their own election agendas.
(c) If they are obscure and touting bizarre messages, and invoking the name of God.
(d) Press cut-outs/rug-outs and archived footage shall be rejected except where they are used to rebut or clarify claims that have been made publicly and were reported in mainstream media.
6. Advertisements shall avoid exposing innocent relatives or friends of candidates to unwarranted political ridicule or hostility.
7. Political advertisements shall avoid projecting material out of context for purposes of driving a propagandist point home.
8. Reasoned and factual comments on parties’ or candidates manifestos should confine themselves to the issues actually raised by rivals, and maintain a moderate tone and language.
9. Placement: Political advertisements in NMG newspapers shall only appear after the Opinion – Editorial pages.
10. Advertisements should be sent to NMG for at least 24 hours in advance, but certainly no less than 12 hours before the time of the scheduled broadcast or print.
11. Political advertising shall not be aired or published in NMG outlets 24 hours prior to Election Day, and most definitely not on polling date itself.