x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

National Media Council tells advertisers to keep their lingo local

Advertisers have been told to mind their language under new media council guidelines.

Advertisers have been told to mind their language under new media council guidelines.

The National Media Council has issued regulations that stipulate the language used in advertising should either be Modern Standard Arabic or the local Emirati dialect.

"It is unusual to say you can't use this dialect, but this is not the only place in the world where use of language is regulated," said Kamal Dimachkie, the executive regional managing director of Leo Burnett, UAE, Kuwait and Lower Gulf.

The regulations reinforce the "fundamental ethics, mainly respect for religious, cultural and social values and norms in society".

They have been welcomed by the UAE's advertising community as a "positive and mature move" from the National Media Council.

"This is a step forward in making certain aspects of advertising regulation more explicit," said Lance de Masi, the president of the International Advertising Agency, UAE Chapter and president of the American University of Dubai.

"It seems that there is more attention paid to the enforcement and implementation of advertising standards so it looks like progress is being made in terms of alignment with international laws and regulations and claim substantiation and truth in advertising."

The regulations reiterate the prohibition of all forms of tobacco advertisements and alcoholic beverages and mind-altering substances and highlighted the commitment to healthcare advertising regulations as stipulated in the law number 7.

"This is a reminder for everybody what the rules of engagement are. It is not a warning, just a reminder to all stakeholders of what is acceptable and what isn't," said Mr Dimachkie.

Advertising regulators have also red-lined "witchcraft".

"This is very support to our cause," said Dr Wedad Al Maidoor, head of the National Tobacco Control Committee at the Ministry of Health, whose committee helped to apply a new measure last August to provide graphic images of the effects of smoking on cigarette packets.