Turkey’s media regulatory agency is fining television channels across the broadcast spectrum for smoking on screen in series, music videos and cartoons, but stations are fighting back in the courts.
The Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, fined private channel TV8 50,000 Liras for scenes in the Tin Tin cartoon that depict villains smoking.
RTÜK member Hülya Alp attached an annotation to the decision saying, “All audiences, including children, distinguish the fictional and non-fictional. Here, having the villains smoking not only fits with the villains’ features and facts, but also smoking is being identified as a part of the series of evil acts they are performing.” Alp also said the blurring effect being employed so frequently works against the ban because it increases attention attracted to smoking by disrupting the concentration of viewers.
RTÜK also fined private channel E2 50,000 Turkish Liras for the “Mad Men” series, citing many instances of scenes that show “lighting a cigarette, smoking, blowing smoke into the air, offering [a cigarette] to another, putting out cigarettes and drinking.”
The channel went to court to fight the fine, and the verdict came in the channel’s favor. The court’s decision was based on an expert report that pointed out the series was shot before the smoking ban was enacted. According to related articles of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, removal of the mentioned scenes in works shot before the law would cause negative results. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=tin-tin-fined-for-his-villains8217-smoking-2010-02-16
Hasn't this thing gone a bit far? The whole point of "Mad Men" is to show how those things, like smoking and drinking in the office, like making passes at your secretary or calling her 'honey' or 'sweetie' are passé. The RTUK member makes a perfectly logical point. Doesn't the blurring effect actually create more attention to the smoking?