PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF) has issued an industry guideline to provide industry professionals with clarity on a determination of the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Content Code (Content Code) for certain specific advertisements.

It has been advised that advertising relating to any form of gambling, including betting and gaming tips, betting and gambling, is not acceptable.

To minimize confusion and uncertainty, this policy is created for reference to assist industry professionals in managing matters relating to the promotion of unacceptable products and services related to gambling or wagering.

For compliance purposes, companies involved in gambling and betting must comply with the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953, the Betting Act of 1953, and other relevant guidelines relating to that business.

“The electronic content industry is known to have messages with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) elements and messages of public interest in the form of Public Service Announcements (PSAs).

“These messages may be addressed to consumers and society at large, provided that the messages contain either specific information for the benefit of the communities or good wishes related to a festival or holiday without violating the content code.

“Companies involved in the gambling and betting businesses are not excluded from their ability to add CSR elements to messages and create such pressure sensitive adhesives,” added CMCF.

Industry experts are encouraged to take note of and implement the guidelines as part of their own compliance mechanisms.

The guidelines can be downloaded from the CMCF website at [www.cmcf.my/download-centre]. The main content code requirements in this area remain and any violation of the code would conform to Part 8, Section 8.0 of the Content Code.

In addition, members of the public are encouraged to report advertisements for products and services that appear to be in violation of the CMCF Complaints Office.

CMCF was founded in February 2001 under a clause in the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to regulate content and handle content-related issues.

The CMCF was named by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and consists of six “normal” membership categories, namely advertisers, audiotext hosting service providers, broadcasters, community groups, content creators / distributors, and internet access service providers.

The content code will demonstrate a commitment to industry self-regulation in accordance with the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA 98).

The code provides the platform for creativity, innovation and healthy growth in a rapidly changing industry. The scope of the Code is defined in Section 213 (1) CMA 98, which states that it “must contain model procedures for dealing with offensive and indecent content”.