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MIB directs halt of Toy Fair ad campaign in poll-bound states

Model code of conduct has come into effect in four states and the UT of Puducherry.

NEW DELHI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has issued an advisory for private, cable and satellite channels and radio stations to immediately stop the broadcast of the 'Toy Fair' campaign in poll-bound states.

The advisory was issued soon after the chief election commissioner of India announced the dates for assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and union territory of Puducherry on Friday. The model code of conduct is now in effect in all the four states and union territory, which prohibits the use of official mass media and public exchequer to publish/broadcast advertisements regarding the achievements of any political party.

The seven-day ad campaign was released on 22 February in the run up to India's first ever toy fair which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today via video conferencing. The four-day fair aims to boost India's toy industry, bringing all stakeholders in one place to create sustainable linkages. The virtual fair is being widely publicised through a major multimedia campaign to generate awareness across the country, which includes articles in newspapers, shows on private FM channels and advertisements by the Bureau of Outreach Communication (BOC). The ad campaigns will continue to run in all other states, as announced earlier.

Apart from that, an advisory has also been issued to withdraw advertisements about welfare initiatives of the government with immediate effect, as per the previously laid norms. This includes 45-50 second telecast slots for schemes like Ujjwala, Jal Jeevan, Awas Yojna, Ayushman Bharat, Saubhagya schemes of the government. "Any spot telecast by private, cable and satellite channels will not be paid by BOC after the issuance of this advisory," it stated. 

All the outdoor agencies, which have been running the government campaigns, too have been advised to immediately stop the campaign and submit a compliance report to BOC.

Voting for the five assembly elections to the four states and one union territory will be held between 27 March and 29 April. The counting for all votes will be held on 2 May. These are the first major round of elections to be held amid the Covid2019 pandemic.

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