Dated: 12 March 2007
MediaCorp TV was fined by the Media Development Authority (MDA) for programme sponsorship breaches in the programme, "City Slickers", shown on Channel U on Sunday, 5 November 2006 at 1.30pm. The programme had eight sponsors and it contained eight segments on several food, electronics, health and wellness products and services.
MDA’s investigation found that only the products and services of the sponsors were featured in the programme, and there was undue product placements, sales pitches and provision of the contact details of the sponsors. In doing so, "City Slickers" resembled an advertorial rather than a lifestyle programme as positioned by MediaCorp TV. By being overly commercialised in featuring the sponsors’ products and services, the programme’s editorial integrity was compromised.
MDA found the programme in breach of Sponsorship and Advertising guidelines which state that "undue prominence should not be given to the sponsor within the programme;references to sponsor's products and services in a sponsored programme should be governed by the programme's needs and not the sponsor's and programmes should also not contain strong elements of advertising and appear like an advertorial."
MediaCorp TV was fined $3,000 by MDA for the breach.