This post was also written by Milan Joshi.
Sky One, a UK satellite channel that broadcasts “The Simpsons,” has been told that the sponsorship of the programme by Domino’s Pizza, a leading UK pizza delivery company, breaches sponsorship rules, despite the fact that no products that were high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) were shown in the credits.
Ofcom, the UK media watchdog, published rules in February 2007 concerning advertisements of HFSS foods to under-16s.
The National Heart Forum (NHF), an alliance of more than 60 UK organisations working to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and related conditions, contacted Ofcom regarding Domino’s Pizza’s sponsorship of “The Simpsons.” The NHF complained that Domino’s Pizza “appears to be avoiding the restriction on HFSS advertising or sponsorship by simply not showing the pizza product during the sponsor’s credits around the programme.”
In response to the complaint, Ofcom requested a recording of “The Simpsons” from Jan. 30, 2008. This consisted of four recordings, back-to-back, between 19:00 and 21:00, with each episode containing four sponsorship credits. The credits featured one or more of the following – at least one person involved in the pizza order/delivery process, the sponsor’s pizza packaging, the pizza case preparation and the sprinkling of pizza topping ingredients. The closing image contained the Domino’s Pizza logo and the words “Domino’s Delivery Service,” followed by the website details and order telephone number. Each credit ended with a voice-over stating: “‘The Simpsons’ on Sky One with Domino’s – the pizza delivery experts.”