Thu, Jun 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

NCC says no fine for controversial commercials

DIVERSITY WINS:NCC spokesperson Weng Po-tsung said that while the adverts had ‘exaggerated content,’ society would benefit from showing tolerance for opinions

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Happiness of the Next Generation Alliance is not to be fined for its television advertisements opposing homosexual marriage aired at the end of last year, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday, adding that society needs greater tolerance for opinions.

The commission made the decision after receiving about 2,600 complaints regarding the ads, which were aired between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

The commercials asked for “1 million families to defend marriage” at a rally on Dec. 3 last year.

They said that family values and relationships would fall apart if same-sex marriages were legalized.

Critics said that the commercials created misunderstanding about the issue of same-sex marriage and were produced to defame homosexuality.

The commission said that it first submitted the commercials and the complaints to a committee for review, which was formed by independent experts and representatives of civic groups.

The commission sought opinions on the commercials from each member of the committee.

It also consulted other government agencies, including the Executive Yuan’s Gender Equality Committee, and the ministries of justice, education and the interior.

None of the agencies said that the advertisements violated any regulations, the commission said.

NCC commissioners said that the alliance faces no penalty over the commercials.

NCC spokesperson Weng Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said that members of the independent committee were divided on whether the alliance should be fined.

Some said that the ads reflected the opinions of the alliance, while others said they contained false information that could mislead the public.

“We are aware that these advertisements contained exaggerated content and conveyed inaccurate information,” Weng said.

“Nevertheless, the commission ruled that no punishment is to be given in this case, as it is the commission’s belief that society would benefit from showing tolerance for different opinions,” he said.

“The decision was made based on the principles of respecting freedom of speech, balancing and tolerating diverse opinions in society and honoring gender equality,” he said.

Weng said that similar cases would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Controversies that arose from the case would be discussed at a forum in October, at which representatives from the media would be invited to comment on the issues, he said.

The commission particularly wants to hear from the industry on how to ensure that TV advertising funded by special-interest groups can be produced in ways that reflect gender equality and diverse social values, he said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top