MANILA, Philippines?The president of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) is a confessed teleserye fan.
Maloli Espinosa admits that, although she watches the news whenever she has time, there?s one TV program she just can?t miss. ?That?s ?Maging Sino Ka Man,?? she says. ?Well, I also watch TeleRadyo ? ?
Her preference is understandable, since Espinosa was an ABS-CBN executive for 17 years. ?But I also listen to Mike Enriquez?s radio program when I?m on the road,? she counters. ?He?s a friend and his program helps me on issues I want clarified.?
For the KBP, the big issue these days is its recent re-implementation of the 18-minute per hour TV advertising rule for its 150 member- networks. The KBP consists of owners and operators of radio and TV stations nationwide.
The rule applies to Metro Manila TV stations. For provincial stations, it?s 20 minutes per hour. On radio, ads are limited to 15 minutes per hour in Metro Manila and 17 minutes per hour in the provinces.
A KBP Standards Authority composed of 13 directors, including a priest representing the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines, serves as a quasi-judicial body for violators.
Penalties are stiff. Erring TV stations will be sanctioned with the confiscation of the total amount of the commercial, plus 20 percent. For example, if the rate for a 30-seconder ad is P100,000 and the excess time is 1 minute, the guilty party pays P200,000 plus 20 percent.
But the rules are said to be easy on important sports events. The Pacquiao-Marquez boxing match couldn?t be penalized, anyway, because the network that aired it, GMA 7, severed its KBP membership in 2003. The reason given was alleged leniency with ABS-CBN, but the KBP refutes this.
Espinosa, who was also KBP president in 1995- ?96, says, ?The rule has been in effect for the past decade, except for a one-year moratorium when it underwent review.?
She points out that the need to bring back it back was ?revalidated? by the results of a study by the Philippine Association of National Advertisers. Its glaring conclusion: the more ads, the less effective they are.
The rule seeks to eliminate overloading of TV commercials of broadcast networks, which the public hates anyway. Most often, longer commercial breaks allow viewers to switch channels.
Espinosa confirms that consumers have formally expressed displeasure. A viewer lodged a complaint, she says, saying that advertising was cluttering the airwaves.
Espinosa says KBP is out to protect public interest, and notes that the 18-minute rule is proof of such a commitment.
Also, she says, KBP has imposed a lifetime ban on an AM radio commentator for using foul language. She recalls that KBP was responsible for petitioning the Supreme Court to allow media to broadcast live the promulgation of the Joseph Estrada plunder case.
As a service to its members, she points out, the organization even collects unpaid advertising accounts and does its best to protect broadcast commentators from harassment. ?These are part of KBP?s responsibility to serve,? Espinosa says.
Losing in the 2004 congressional elections did not stop her from engaging in work that puts her directly in touch with people, Espinosa says. Since 1980, she has been running a family-owned radio station in Masbate.
Speaking of which, she says, the radio industry in the provinces is in dire straits. ?Some stations are on the brink of closing down from lack of advertising support.?
She says this is why the KBP has mounted an aggressive marketing campaign to reorient advertisers on the power of radio to reach a wide audience.
As part of its self-regulating functions, Espinosa reports, the KBP has formed an Advertising Standards Council that will screen all commercials prior to broadcast ? in the interest of truth in advertising.