Controversial 24-hour news channel Press TV has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Agency after complaints were made over an ad campaign which said the channel broadcast “24/7 news truth”.
The high-profile campaign, which ran on the side of London buses, drew four complaints to the advertising watchdog, saying it was misleading because it did not make clear the channel was owned by the Iranian government.
The ads said: “Press TV – giving a voice to the voiceless. 24/7 news truth. The world is changing. People are changing. Opinions are changing. The news is changing. Why do you still watch the same tired news channel? Get the full story at Press TV.”
The complainants also said Press TV’s claims “24/7 news truth” and “the full story” were misleading as they implied that the channel offered unbiased reporting of news events, which they did not believe was the case.
The complaints were rejected by the advertising watchdog which ruled that it was ‘not common practice for news channels to state who they were owned or funded by in their advertising material”
The ASA also ruled that the claim “24/7 news truth” would be seen as the station’s opinion of the information it provided rather than an objective claim.
The ad industry regulator said Press TV stated that ‘the full story” was a subjective term and all channels provided the full story as they saw it.
The ASA said: “Press TV said they had consulted Transport for London, who had had no objection to the campaign, and they considered the ad was comparable to other ads for TV channels.
“Press TV questioned whether it was necessary to state the funding source of the channel to the public and did not consider that the ad’s text had an adverse effect on those who saw it.”
In August, George Galloway’s two shows on Press TV were criticised by Ofcom for breaching impartiality rules after the Respect MP branded Israel’s actions in the Gaza conflict “war crimes”.