August 17, 2018

Backlash from advertisers after KFCB directive

By Jude Titus

Players in the advertising industry have bashed Kenya Films Classification Board [KFCB] directive to ban ‘immoral’ ads from running between 5a.m and 10p.m.

The KFCB directive also outlaws the airing of commercials relating to alcoholic drinks, betting and contraceptive products between 5a.m and 10p.m which is the prime time and when children are deemed to be awake.

Ezekiel Mutua the KFCB boss after announcing the new guidelines was not received warmly especially by Kenyans on social media who ranted with rage and insults calling the move hypocritical since most local TV stations still air Soap operas, Nigerian and Hollywood movies.

Bloggers Association of Kenya chairperson Kennedy Kachwanya also bashed the directive, terming the guidelines as irrelevant.

‘‘The functions of the KFCB board are very clear in that they regulate the creation, broadcasting, possession and exhibition of films. Bloggers will resist at all costs the ‘illegal regulations’ which will infringe on advertisers freedom,’’ Kachwanya indicated.

Peter Odoyo, Chairman of the Outdoor Advertisers Association also dismissed the guidelines saying that KFCB was seeking attention.

‘‘Before we are allowed to operate, we undergo a very rigorous process for approval, so KFCB should not try to sneak in irrelevant laws to the industry which will scare away both local and international investors,’’ Odoyo indicated.

He also added that KFCB should stick to their mandate of regulating films since outdoor advertisers have a clear system on what is cited for public consumption and what is not.

The new rules have not spared the political class as they will also cover messages from politicians, manifestos and political parties.

‘‘The board has banned political advertisements that will be using derogative language, incite people, promote stereotyping or contains propaganda for war or violence. Billboards that go against the new classifications shall be singled out and their owners given 14 days to pull them down, reiterated Ezekiel Mutua on Tuesday.

In March, 2016 a controversial party dubbed ‘Project X’ that was to take place in Kileleshwa estate was banned.

The Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua said that the cancellation of the party was because of its intended purpose which was to promote irresponsible sexual behavior as well as other immoral activities among young people in the country.

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