Press Release



Statement for the decision on a poster for a Category III film


In response to media enquiries, the poster for the film "Better Than Chocolate", which the Film Censorship Authority (FCA) (i.e. the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing) has refused to approve under Section 15K of the Film Censorship Ordinance, a spokesman for the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) gave the following reply:

"The film has been classified as Category III under the Ordinance, Section 15K of which provides that advertising materials for Category III films have to be submitted to the FCA for approval. In dealing with the poster in question, the FCA has followed Section 15K of the Ordinance and paragraphs 52, 54 and 55 of the Film Censorship Guidelines published in the Gazette by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting under the Ordinance.

The spirit of the Ordinance is to protect children and young persons and to prevent them from exposure to indecent matters. As advertising material is often displayed in public places and available to all passers-by, it should not contain materials which are offensive to public morality, decency and ordinary good taste. The guidelines applied in deciding whether the poster is suitable for public display are those set out in paragraphs 54 and 55 of the Film Censorship Guidelines.

To ensure that the Film Censorship Guidelines reflect the prevailing community standards of morality and decency, public opinion surveys on film censorship standards are conducted regularly. The last survey was conducted in 1998 and the report on the findings of the survey is available at TELA for inspection. Having regard to the Film Censorship Guidelines, which had been updated in 1999 taking into account the findings of the 1998 survey, the FCA decided not to approve the poster.

The FCA applies the same set of guidelines uniformly in considering film advertising materials submitted for approval. As regards film posters said to have been approved previously, the treatment and presentation in each case were different and each case has to be considered on its own merits having regard to the Film Censorship Guidelines. It is not appropriate to draw comparison between them and the poster in this case."

END/Thursday, March 30, 2000