PID to have strong say in PSEs advertisement on electronic media
ISLAMABAD: As per a Cabinet decision taken in 1963, an advertisement centralisation policy was adopted as part of the now defunct Press and Publication Ordinance. After nationalisation in 1972, PID’s hold on PSEs has been strengthened by all governments – civil and military.
Ministry of Information has reminded all public sector entities, departments and autonomous bodies are obliged to release all advertisements to electronic media through Press Information Department (PID), Business Recorder has learnt. In its directive issued to all departments, a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, the Information Ministry has said that some Ministries/Divisions/Departments/public sector organisations and autonomous bodies under federal government are releasing advertisements directly to the electronic media “in clear violation of government policy”.
“This is not only in violation of the rules but also affects government-media relations, which is also a subject assigned to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” the directive said. PID has already requested all public sector organisations and departments to release electronic media advertisements through PID vide letter No 15 15(3)2010-advt.dated February 15, 2010.
“All Ministries/Division/ Departments/Public sector organisations of the federal government are requested to kindly accord due consideration to the Rules of Business and place their advertisements in electronic media or print media through PID,” the directive adds.
Earlier, public sector organisations had been releasing advertisements directly to electronic media. However, under Shaukat Aziz government a decision was taken to have DPIO for electronic media within PID on a summary moved by Ministry of Information to create a separate PID for electronic media. For the last three years, PID has been trying to create a separate department and also establish a Release Order approval and billing system. As a first step, PID is expected to fix advertisement rates for individual channels like its does for newspapers and magazines and other periodicals in its media list.
“At present, PID has not determined commercial rates for advertisements to be released to the electronic media,” sources said, adding that PID would not be in a position to fix commercial rates of advertisements for electronic media without consultation with television organisation. Sources added that public sector organisations are the best judge where to advertise their products. This decision is based on recommendation of marketing experts within and outside who would always tell the PSEs: How much bang do the PSEs think they will get from their advertisements? It is a widely known secret that PID is used as a vehicle by the government in power to adopt a “carrot and stick” approach to obtain favourable media coverage for its policies and actions in terms of how to release advertisements to electronic media through PID without any proper guidelines and commercial rates for advertisements.
In a related development, the Cabinet Division had directed the heads of public sector organisations and departments not to talk to the media, or hold press conference. Federal Cabinet in its meeting held on 1-9-2010 had decided to avoid holding press conferences unless authorised by the competent authority. In order to implement the decision, the Ministries/Divisions, Chief Secretaries and heads of institutions have been directed to issue necessary instructions to all concerned to avoid holding press conferences unless so authorised by the competent authority.
“In case the officials fail to comply with the instructions, disciplinary proceedings under Conduct and Efficiency and Discipline Rules 1973 may be initiated and report forwarded to this Division for onward transmission to the Cabinet Division,” the letter added.
Source: Business Recorder