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Commercial troubles mobile operators

10 February 2011 / 13:02:45  GRReporter
3667 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

The Greek National Council for Radio and Television allowed the broadcasting of a commercial presenting mobile operators in unfavourable light. The decision was approved unanimously despite the acute response of the organization of the companies from the branch.   

The independent institution approved the broadcasting of the TV commercial of the NGO Mediterranean Anti Nuclear Watch which highlights the negative effects of mobile phones use.

The Council for Radio and Television defined the message of the commercial as "social", which means that electronic media are obliged to broadcast it for free.

GRReporter contacted Thanasis Anapolitanos, the president of the NGO based in Rhodes. He said that the idea of the video was born after Mediterranean Anti Nuclear Watch and the Society for Environmental Protection in Rhodes had organized informational meeting for electromagnetic radiation with the participation of two university lecturers. "Several days later we published a message in the press which described the main conclusions of the event. These are:
 - Radiation exposure has no safety margin but only a margin of acceptable risk.

 - Any type of radiation requires security measures for risk reduction. Safety and protection are based on the principle of prudent avoidance which is implemented through the shortest possible duration of exposure and by moving as far away as possible from the source of radiation.

- The biological risk of non-ionizing radiation is not yet determined. However, the scientific community and citizens must be especially careful to technologies related to non-ionizing radiation.

- Diseases that are likely to be caused by non-ionizing radiation are: leukemia, autism, dementia, allergies and other tumors (benign or malignant).”

Regarding the use of mobile phones, the message recommends short phone calls of half to one minute and a break of five minutes in order the radiation-exposed cells to allay.

It is recommended to use headset or loudspeaker for longer phone calls and to keep the phone at a distance of at least half or one meter. The same applies when mobile phones are used by children “that should avoid using them. According to some organizations, mobile phones should be prohibited for persons under the age of 16.”

It is also better to avoid using mobile phones in enclosed spaces, especially in elevators, cars, yachts and other places where the signal is weak.
The message was published in the local newspaper where a letter by the Chief Executive of the union of mobile operators George Stephanopoulos was received several days later. According to him, the World Health Organisation had stated clearly that there were no effects detected on human health from exposure to electromagnetic radiation which is below the international regulations laid down by law. George Stephanopoulos refered to the expertise of the Scientific Committee of the European Union “according to which the research conducted to date do not associate population exposure to radio waves with consequences in public health."

They said from the NGO that the fine print of the same documents reads the need for conducting further research, because "the period of wide human exposure to mobile phones radio frequencies is shorter than the period of occurrence of certain cancer diseases."

Thanassis Anapolitanios stated that "we do not want to frighten people and do not aim to tell them not to use mobile phones. I myself have a cell phone but I use it in a reasonable manner. I use either headset, or a speaker. I have short phone calls but when there is a fixed telephone line around I always prefer to use it.

But what has the reasonable use of mobile phone got to do with this vigorous advertising campaign of mobile operators?  They stopped saying we give away so and so minutes. The slogan in their latest advertising is "unlimited calls.”

Isn’t our health more valuable than their profits?"

He said this was only one side of the problem. The other was related to mental health.

"Some parents often tell us that their children "stick" to their mobile phones for hours. We see it very often with teenagers in the streets. They do nothing else but use their mobile phones.

Our message "Less hours on the phone more hours in life" is not related to our biological health, but exactly to that. We are pleased that the Council for Radio and Television approved the video broadcasting. Of course, this campaign took us a month and we know that there will be more responses. Not to mention that our social message will probably be broadcasted at 4 am, but it does not matter. Our efforts are important. Companies made a big mistake, starting a battle that they will not win."

The message of the controversial video is "Electromagnetic radiation is not innocent. Less hours on the phone more hours in life." Snippets of Greek mobile operators’ commercials were used in it.

The companies filed appeals to the Council for Radio and Television, stressing that the video refers to general data which are not scientifically proven and explicitly stated that the use of their commercials contents is stealing their property.

Both appeals were rejected by the plenary of the Council for Radio and Television and his chairman said that "third parties may use fragments of commercials of other companies. As to the danger of using mobile phones, it is apparent."


Tags: MediaCommercialCouncil for Radio and TelevisionMobile operatorsRadiation
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