Taiwan NCC Relaxed Restrictions on TV Program Advertising

October 2023

Elva Chuang and Yuki Chiang

Under Article 15, Paragraph 2 of the Regulations for the Distinction between Television Programs and Advertisement (the “Regulations”) before amendment, if a television business imparts the name, logo, trademark, brand, or related graphics of the sponsors’ products, services, businesses, agencies (institutions), groups, or persons in sports, art, or cultural events, they shall not appear larger than the logo of the television business.  An operator’s broadcast of domestic and overseas sports, arts, and cultural activities has lots of benefits to the society, it not only helps revitalize the development of industries, but also enhances national cultural identity and cohesion among the citizens.  In practice, due to the high production costs and copyright license fees of sports events or arts and cultural activities, the television operators have to rely on corporate sponsorship to accomplish the program broadcasting.  However, due to regulatory restrictions on TV program advertising, it is difficult to highlight the effectiveness in a sponsor’s promotion of its brands or goodwill, resulting in low interest from sponsors in placing advertisements.  Therefore, to encourage the development of sports events and arts and cultural activities, the National Communications Commission (the “NCC”) officially amended Article 15, Paragraph 2 of the Regulations on September 6, 2023, easing restrictions on advertising during sports events or in arts and cultural activities or programs by stating: “Sponsors can display their messages in full screen, as long as they do not obstruct or affect the progress of the event or activity, in which case the restriction is eased to allow the messages to take up one-half the size of the screen.  In addition, sponsors can display full-screen advertisements at appropriate moments such as entrances, transitions, pauses, and breaks.”

Additionally, under the newly added Article 15, Paragraph 3 of the Regulations, the number of times the messages from the television program sponsor are presented should follow the principle of proportionality and shall not compromise the rights of viewers.  The presentation of the messages is limited to three seconds each time and shall not be accompanied by sound, in order to reduce the viewing inconvenience caused by excessive sponsor message presentation time and to safeguard the rights and interests of viewers.  In addition to the aforementioned amendments, it is also recommended that television program advertising sponsors shall pay attention to the restrictions under the Regulations or the laws and regulations of the competent authorities for specified business when placing advertisements.  For example, if the products or services of operators involve tobacco, alcohol, or pharmaceuticals, special restrictions on advertising placement are still applied.  For other relevant information, please refer to the NCC’s announcement on September 6, 2023: https://reurl.cc/l7pWaq

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