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2014 Elections: check regulations that apply to free political advertising on radio and TV.

2014 Elections: check regulations that apply to free political advertising on radio and TV

Candidates, political parties and coalitions are to comply with numerous regulations regarding the content of political advertising aired free on radio and TV. These norms are prescribed in Resolution N. 23,404, which addresses electoral publicity and establishes conducts that are prohibited during the 2014 Elections. With respect to the first round of this year´s elections, free political advertising on radio and TV started on August 19 and will end on October 2. Check some of the applicable regulations, which go listed below.

Offensive publicity

Publicity that is aimed at degrading or ridiculing other candidates is prohibited by the electoral legislation in place, and the offending political party or coalition may be forbidden to broadcast free political advertising on radio and TV on the day after the decision of the competent Electoral Court was issued.

At the request of concerned political parties, coalitions or candidates, Electoral Courts may prevent the rerun of publicity that is offensive to the honor of other candidates, to moral standards and other generally accepted social values. In the event of repetition of a conduct already punished by Electoral Courts, the offending party, coalition or candidate may have their free airtime on radio and TV suspended.

Political advertising

Political parties, coalitions and candidates are forbidden to use their free airtime on radio and TV to broadcast imagery of polls, even if in the form of a journalistic interview, or any other type of referendum of electoral nature in which it may be possible to identify respondents or which features data manipulation.

They are also forbidden to use trickery, edits or any audio or video technique in ways that degrade or ridicule other candidates, political parties or coalitions, or to produce or broadcast any program with such purpose.

Failure to comply with such provisions subjects infringing parties or coalitions to loss of free airtime equal to twice as much the time used in the offense in its subsequent free airtime on radio and TV, and such loss of free airtime shall double at every recurrence, being replaced with a message explaining that the non-airing of their respective political advertising programs results from a breach of the provisions established in Law N. 9,504/97 (Elections Act).

Identification of free publicity

All publicity aired free must display a “free political advertising” caption when transmitted by television networks in blocks or through inserts. Political parties and coalitions are responsible for providing such captioning.


Political parties and coalitions may not include publicity for candidates of major elections (President, governors and senators) in the publicity time allotted for candidates of proportional elections (federal, state or district representatives), or vice versa.

However, the legislation in place provides for the use of captions with reference to major election candidates, or background posters or photographs of these candidates featuring in the transmission of campaign programs.

Testimonies by candidates for proportional elections may be inserted in free airtime allotted for major election candidates (and vice versa) that are registered under the same party or coalition, provided such testimonies are solely aimed at winning votes for the candidates who have allowed the use of their free airtime. Nevertheless, the free airtime allotted for proportional election candidates must not be used as publicity for major election candidates, and vice versa.

Political parties or coalitions that fail to comply with the rules referred to above will have a slot time equivalent to that used for electoral publicity of benefiting candidates deducted from their free airtime.


Any citizen is entitled to participate in a program of a given party or coalition that is aired free on radio and television with the purpose of supporting their nominated candidates, provided such citizen is not affiliated with another party or with a party that integrates another coalition. Popular participation in return for payment is strictly forbidden.

With respect to runoffs, electoral programs of any given party, which are aired free on radio and TV, must not feature the participation of individuals that are affiliated with parties that have declared support to other candidates.

Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)/Subtitles

Political advertising aired free on television must feature Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) interpretation or another captioning technology, which shall be mandatorily included in the material delivered to broadcasters with the purpose of enabling individuals with hearing impairments to follow electoral programs.

Furthermore, electoral publicity aired free on radio and TV shall not be used for commercial purposes nor feature any advertisement designed with the intent, covert or subliminal, to promote a given brand or product.


The dissemination of public opinion polls during free political airtime must include precise information on the period during which such polls were carried out, their respective margins of error, and confidence intervals. It is not mandatory for such polls to refer to other competitors, provided their results do not mislead voters about the performance of concerned candidates in relation to their opponents.