Anti-Smoking Ads On OTT | Government of India changes strict rules regarding tobacco warnings on OTT shows


Should movies and TV series on OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon and Netflix have long-term smoking warnings? While the central government had issued new rules on the matter in May this year, streaming websites had raised some objections. But, an agreement may be reached soon.

A recent Reuters report said the government has agreed to find “practical solutions” to stricter tobacco warnings on such platforms. In a closed-door meeting on August 28, streaming executives met officials from the Health Ministry and the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry and sought relaxation of the May rules as they could impact the viewing experience of users. Are.

Brushing aside the threat of possible restrictions on platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google, India’s telecom watchdog on Monday said over-the-top (OTT) communication services do not currently require a regulatory framework. India’s telecom companies have long lobbied for regulation of apps that provide free voice and text services over the Internet, arguing that such services drain their revenues.

“It is not an opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework for various aspects of services referred to as OTT services, beyond the existing laws and regulations currently laid down,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in a statement. TRAI also said that there is no need for any regulatory intervention on issues related to privacy and security of OTT services.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Net neutrality activists welcomed TRAI’s decision, but telecom industry lobby group, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said TRAI has addressed issues such as regulatory imbalance and non-level playing field between telecom service providers (TSPs) and telecom operators. Has not been resolved. OTT communication player. “Without resolution of these issues, TSPs will continue to be at a disadvantage compared to OTT communication service providers,” COAI Director General SP Kochhar said in a statement.

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