National TV channel Happy left without 500,000 euros for advertising the ruling party

March 1, 2017

During the election campaign in the build up to the April 2016 parliamentary elections, national television company Happy TV broadcast advertisements of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) that have not yet been paid for, with SNS claiming that they did not even book these advertisements.

Sources of Portal Cenzolovka, which covers media happenings and media freedoms in Serbia and the region, claim that Happy TV signed a contract on advertising SNS with agency MP media, which presented itself as working on behalf of SNS.

From the ruling party it is claimed that they have nothing to do with that, and that they did not book advertising on this television channel, thus the advertising messages, worth about half a million euros, remain unpaid.

However, SNS did not wish to respond to the question of how it is possible that they did not notice that a national television channel – one which featured a guest appearance by Serbian PM Aleksandar Vučić during the election campaign – was broadcasting disputed advertising, or why party members did not react if they did notice.