Ofcom bans Saudi Arabia TV ad

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Saudi Arabia has been banned from paying to promote its reform agenda on UK television screens following a ruling by Ofcom.

The Saudi government had paid to air a 60 second commercial– which included images of women driving, theatres being reopened and members of the Saudi royal family – during this year’s visit to the UK by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The advert was designed to promote trade with the UK, according to the Saudi government.

However “in Ofcom’s view, the primary aim of the advertisement was to portray the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a positive light,” the media regulator said. This breaks the UK’s ban on paid political advertising on TV and radio stations.


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