Malaysia: Public consultation on revamped Content Code until 10 December 2021

In temporary

The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (“Content Forum“) has issued a public consultation paper titled “Revamp of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code“, proposing numerous adjustments to the prohibitions, restrictions and necessities on digital content material, notably in relation to promoting, in addition to broader implications for on-line service suppliers and on-line market operators. The time limit for submission of suggestions to the Content Forum is 10 December 2021.

The Content Forum is an trade physique designated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) pursuant to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA). As anticipated by the CMA, the Content Forum issued the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code (“Content Code“), which applies to all content material over the digital networked medium akin to broadcasts on the tv, the radio and the web.

Despite being a voluntary trade code, the Complaints Bureau of the Content Forum (with whom members of the trade and the general public might lodge complaints) might, amongst others, impose fines as much as RM 50,000 (~ USD 12,000) for any breach of the Content Code. Additionally, the CMA gives that compliance with the Content Code gives a defence towards any authorized proceedings regarding any matter handled within the Content Code.

The public consultation paper proposes the next key adjustments to the Content Code:

Online service suppliers: Certain particular on-line tips within the Content Code will apply to on-line service suppliers, overlaying all content material initiated, uploaded, disseminated or made accessible on-line in Malaysia. However, suppliers of over-the-top (OTT) content material companies who supply curated content material on to customers over the Internet (akin to VOD, linear OTT and different TV streaming companies) are excluded.Online market operators: Advertising tips beneath the Content Code might be prolonged to operators of on-line marketplaces who’re outlined as individuals who present web sites the place services or products are marketed and offered by third events.(*10*) advertising: Advertisements that includes influencers who’re paid to endorse sure services or products of the advertiser should be clearly disclosed as such, in order that influencer advertising shouldn’t be used as a device to mislead consumersChildren and promoting: A number of latest prohibitions, restrictions and necessities might be launched for commercials addressed to or focusing on kids (i.e., beneath the age of 13). For occasion, direct exhortation to a toddler to purchase an marketed product or to influence their dad and mom to purchase an marketed product for them might be prohibited.Alcohol promoting: Advertisements on intoxicating liquor communicated over digital mediums (besides tv and radio) might be allowed, topic to particular necessities and restrictions.Advertising claims, testimonials and pricing: Further necessities and restrictions might be launched for cover of customers. For instance, materials data shall not be omitted or offered in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or premature method that will possible mislead customers.Indecent content material: Content on nudity might be allowed topic to the appropriateness to the context of the content material, as long as it isn’t extreme and specific in nature.Accessibility: Reasonable lodging ought to be made to ship any content material and knowledge meant for most of the people in accessible codecs and applied sciences applicable for individuals with disabilities.Advertising by playing/betting firm: The charitable arm of a licensed playing/betting firm might be allowed to offer messages on company social duty campaigns and public service bulletins, offered that the particular tips on this regard are noticed.  Religion: Use of faith in commercials might be typically prohibited until allowed by regulation e.g., Halal certification and Islamic banking. There can even be particular broadcasting necessities for all non secular content material on Islam.

The Content Forum will proceed to just accept suggestions on the general public consultation paper until 10 December 2021. Given the breadth of protection proposed by this revamp, on-line content material suppliers and advertisers ought to contemplate the implications of those adjustments on their enterprise and promoting practices, and contribute suggestions as relevant utilizing this kind.

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About the Author: Amanda