Paris (AFP)

The Superior Audiovisual Council has put C8 on notice to respect the rules on sponsorship by brands, after its star host Cyril Hanouna had promoted the ghost airline Skyline Airways on its antenna, without clearly specifying the nature of their partnership .

This formal notice was issued on January 20 and published a few days ago in the Official Journal.

In question, several extracts from the programs "La Grande Darka" and "Touche pas à mon Poste" broadcast in September 2019, in which the host had highlighted the services of the company Skyline Airways, presented as an airline, in the part of a partnership to win air tickets to Greece for viewers.

This operation had been described as a "trick" by Internet users who had questioned the reality of the activities of this company, which operated no theft and was not even registered in France.

In the process, the production company of Cyril Hanouna H2O had indicated that they had asked Skyline for explanations and had made a commitment that all the winners could leave, no matter what.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had indicated for its part that it was going to seize the repression of fraud.

The CSA had meanwhile opened a procedure to check whether C8 had failed in its obligations regarding advertising and sponsorship.

C8 had defended himself by explaining that the operation was indeed a sponsorship, as specified in the credits at the end of the programs which mentioned "with the participation of Skyline Airways".

In its decision, the CSA - which has already sanctioned the channel on several occasions because of Cyril Hanouna's broadcasts - concluded that this partnership did not constitute a form of clandestine advertising, prohibited on television.

But on the other hand, the audiovisual policeman ruled that the operation violated the rules on sponsorship, which must be clearly identifiable and cannot be accompanied by advertising arguments.

The CSA therefore decided to put C8 "on notice to comply, in the future, with these provisions, by clearly identifying the sponsorships as such and by refraining from any advertising promotion by the sponsor".

A decision which, in the event of a repeat offense, exposes C8 to a sanction which can range from a fine, to a suspension of the broadcasting of a program through a temporary deprivation of advertising.

Joined by AFP, C8 made no comment.

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