Whether or not it is appropriate for broadcasting companies to allow the mention of social media sites on air.

Yes. It is appropriate for broadcasting companies to allow the mention of social media sites on air.

Broadcasting companies at present make as part of their strategy to keep their viewers or listeners, the mention of social media sites where their viewers or listeners could follow them. Lines such as “follow us on Twitter” or “find us on Facebook” are usually mentioned before the broadcasters sign off from their programs.

In my opinion, it is a proper act regardless of whether or not these social media sites pay them. If the broadcasting company is being paid for so doing, then, it can be considered as an advertising agency or agent which means a service organization or enterprise creating, conducting, producing, implementing or giving counsel on promotional campaigns or programs through any medium for and in behalf of any advertiser (Republic Act No. 7394 or The Consumer Act of the Philippines). Under the same law, an advertiser is the client of the advertising agency or the sponsor of the advertisement on whose account the advertising is prepared, conceptualized, presented or disseminated. Further, advertising means the business of conceptualizing, presenting or making available to the public, through any form of mass media, fact, data or information about the attributes, features, quality or availability of consumer products, services or credit.

Advertising is a licit business and the mention of social media sites on air by broadcasting companies is an example of it and nothing is improper with it. In fact, it benefits both the broadcasting company and the social media site; the former earns and is able to keep their viewers or listeners and the latter gains more popularity which means more people will be attracted to use their sites.

If these broadcasting companies are not paid, they still act within the bounds of propriety. Pursuant to their franchise, they have rights to air matters not contrary to law, public policy, custom, tradition, morality, etc. The mention of social media sites is not violative of any of these. Their act seems to be a gesture of gratitude to social media sites for allowing them to mention the sites for the purpose of keeping their viewers and listeners. So much so, the social media sites are also grateful for the free advertising extended by the broadcasting company. No rights are transgressed and no obligations have failed. In fact, a mutual relationship between the two parties is strengthened.

One of the famous axioms in law states, “Our right ends where the right of others begins”. The contention that this act of broadcasting companies prejudice the rights of unpopular social media sites, must fail. The broadcasting company is vested by law with rights to advertising and to air any matter provided not contrary to law, public policy, custom, tradition, morality, etc. Small time and unpopular social media sites are bereft of rights to stop the exercise of the rights by the broadcasting companies. There may be damnum absque injuria; damage without injury or damage or injury inflicted without injustice or loss or damage without violation of a legal right or a wrong done to a man for which the law provides no remedy. The broadcasting companies and the popular social media sites are acting within the bounds of propriety although it lessens more the popularity of small time social media sites. Dura lex sed lex or the law may be harsh but it is still the law. As long as we act not in contravention of it we shall fear nothing. For the small time and unpopular social media sites, this should serve as their challenge to innovate and devise strategies in order to rise from the rank.

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