By: Rashid Sami
As we proceed towards the future, advertising is taking a front seat in almost every aspect of our lives. From edibles to electronics, from clothing to housing, even our medical and educational requirements seem to be overpowered by electronic or print media advertisement.

Advertising on television, as the concerned advertising genus say, has become very technical and professional. According to them, professional firms are hired to do the survey. As one advertising wala puts it, weekly diaries are distributed to approximately 2000 households, mainly urban. The selected viewers in turn fill in their programme preferences or ratings on an half-hourly/hourly basis and thus a viewer-ship record is maintained. The advertising firms, investors or the sponsors can purchase these ratings of a particular programme when required, whereas almost all leading advertising agencies hire such services on a full-time basis. Sponsors place their commercial according t these ratings and the momentum of the advertising budget on the electronic media falls around rupees 2.5 to 3 billions.

While golse through the entire commercial placement on the Pakistani television, one wondered whether this procedure, as it was described, is justified. Less than 2000 households, most of them urban, decide not only advertising trends in the country but also the sponsorship of a thought process of more than 140 million Pakistanis and presentation of our society within and outside Pakistan. Pakistan Television under the management of Yousaf Baig Mirza has privatized a major chunk on PTV network and PTV World and preparations are being made to do the same with PTV 3. Under the new management, PTV has created slots for specified programming and one slot is Khawateen Time every morning on PTV network. As the title signifies, this slot presents programmes relating to women issues. Though the presentation of this particular slot is not very impressive, one or two programmes do provide some entertainment plus information regarding rights of women and women-related issues. Aurat aur qanoon is one such drama series which provides information about the legal matters according to the title of the play being presented. Pakistan Women Lawyers Association (PAWLA) are the producers of the programme. PAWLA is providing free of cost-----not afford legal expenses and those who are either apprehensive about going to the law or ignorant of their legal rights.

Presented every Saturday mornings at around ten, the title of this week’s episode was Warasat. As the title suggests the play was about the inheritance/endowment rights that a woman can claim according to the law, both Islamic and judicial. In this episode the story revolved around two sisters – a widow, played by Ayesha Khan and Mehak Ali, married to a reasonably affluent businessman Property and business left by their deceased father has been taken over by the two brothers who repeatedly refuse their sisters inheritance claims. The younger sister through legal aid provided by PAWLa wins the case against the two brothers and both the sisters receive what was rightfully theirs. Though the production and the script quality in Aurat aur qanoon left a lot to be desired, such endeavours can greatly benefit the helpless.

Programming on STN has not yet, commenced and programmes shown, on PTV World are being telecast from STN. The investors on PTV World are thus benefiting at no added cost. It is alleged by a les fortunate investors in the waiting list that the packages offered to the sponsors and advertisers include an additional channel or footprint and thus extra amounts are being charged benefiting the investors.

Two programmes worth mentioning presented by Weekend World are Cinemascopeless, on Fridays and the newly introduced drama serial Haqeeqat, on Saturdays. Cinemascopeless is a new idea on the mini screen and has great potential, but the scriptwriter and director seem to lose sight of their goals every alternate episode. One episode offers great entertainment, masala and formula which is the main essence of the series, and the next becomes substandard. But it is a good effort and a little homework would result in a better production.

Haqeeqat, written, directed and acted by Zulqarnain Haider is a meaningful, yet, light production about the war between Good and evil. A forest officer, Zulqarnain, is tricked into the elimination of forestry by the timber, mafls. Recorded around the green belts of the Northern areas of Pakisan, i.e. Muree, Abbotabad and Bhurban, this serial not only offers a strong story line but also brings a visual relief from the usual urban settings, not to mention the importance of the topic.

The programme worth mentioning on Saturdays on PTV World is Yehi to hai Lollywood. Hosted by the nitty writty Farah Shah, the programme has been formatted in a lighter vein and covers almost everything related to Lollywood including production, direction, gossip, stars and lifestyle, their feuds and rivalry, etc. The segment by Navaid Rashid, a film and TV journalist, titled naughty Navaid is a pretty interesting one where he summarizes the avents relating to Lollywood. Last week he talked about the double standards of Lollywood walas including heroines, heroes, directors and scriptwriters. With the reins of production of the programme being taken up by Tony and produced by Top End productions, Yehi to hai Lollywood is indeed a real treat to watch.

Teleworld, on the other hand, is re-running Croron ka aadmi in its Action Series directed by Shamoon. Again with fresh blood into production and direction, Action Series has different camerawork and overall treatment. What most of the younger directors lack is a strong or reasonable script. In most of the new productions, one situation hops into a completely different one without any explanation or justification and it is taken for granted that viewers understand the change.

The crew of Tipu Sultan met with a road accident between Jacobabad and Kashmoor while on their way is Jehlum. The coach carrying crey and technical equipment was considerably damaged. It is said that due to this socident, two ENG unly were completed by destroyed.