Broadcasting watchdog cites covert advertising law of 1992
The Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA) has banned French TV and radio channels from mentioning names of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on air.
France’s audiovisual authority says that referring names of social networking sites on shows for feedback would violate the 1992 law banning secret advertising.
However, the country’s broadcasting watchdog said presenters could still talk about the services without naming them.
In a ruling, published online, the CSA said, "Referring viewers or listeners to the page of the social network without mentioning it has the character of information.
"Whereas the referral by naming the social network in question has the character of advertising, contrary to the provisions of Article 9 of the decree of 27 March 1992 forbidding covert advertising."
A member of the council Christine Kelly told Associated Press Television News, "We are not in the United States where you buy frequencies to get a TV channel and then you do pretty much whatever you want on your channel."
Kelly said in France, one gets the frequency for free and in exchange "there are rules you must respect."
Facebook has not commented on the matter so far.