Trying to save millions of lives is evidence of bias so U2 frontman’s commercial can’t be shown, say broadcast bosses

Bono

Trying to help: Bono

U2 frontman Bono’s latest attempt to save millions of people from starvation has been blocked by TV bosses, who say his new advert might breach bias rules.

Politically-motivated organisations are not allowed to buy ad time on UK networks – and censors say Bono’s Hungry No More campaign is political because his charity One seeks to influence world leaders.

The singer appears in the minute-long film called The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity. Movie stars George Clooney and Colin Farrell also feature.

Clearcast, the organisation charged with monitoring commercials, says the Hungry No More campaign breaches the 2003 Communications Act, and have warned TV stations they could lose their licence to broadcast if they show the film.

A spokeswoman for Clearcast tells the BBC: “These rules ensure that advert’s aren’t broadcast by bodies whose objects are wholly or mainly political.

“One appears to be caught by this rule, as they state that part of their raison d’être is to pressure political leaders.

“It also appears that a number of the claims made in the version of the ad we have seen are directed towards a political end, which is again against the rules.”

But Adrian Lovett, European director of One, calls the move “absurd.”

He says: “We recognise the purpose of the broadcasting code is to keep political propaganda off British television. But our ad highlights the desperate plight of 750,000 people in east Africa who, the UN warns, could die before the end of the year.

“Who can object to that message? We are challenging this decision and hope the broadcasters will reconsider.”

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