Bono TV advert banned for breaching broadcasting rules

Advert for U2 frontman's 'One' charity deemed too political

An advert for U2 frontman Bono‘s famine charity ‘One’ has been banned in the UK after it was decided it may breach rules covering political broadcasting.

The short film is part of One’s ‘Hungry No More’ campaign, which calls for governments to help tackle the causes of famine in Africa.

The minute-long film called The F Word features the U2 frontman, George Clooney, Colin Farrell and Kristin Davis, but Clearcast, who approve adverts in the UK, said it could be in breach of rules laid down by the 2003 Communications Act.

A spokesperson said: “These rules ensure that adverts aren’t being broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.

They added:

One appears to be caught by this rule as they state that part of their raison d’etre is to pressure political leaders.

“It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad that we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules.”‘

‘One’ said it was “absurd” the advert could not be shown. Europe director Adrian Lovett claims the charity was not a political party and had no political affiliation.

He said: “We recognise the purpose of the broadcasting code is to keep political propaganda off British television, but our ad highlights the desperate plight of 750,000 people in east Africa who, the UN warns, could die before the end of the year.”

Lovett added he hoped Clearcast would reverse their decision, but the organisation said any broadcaster carrying an advert in breach of the rules on political advertising faces a possible fine from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom or even a revocation of their licence.