LBC 97.3, the Chrysalis-owned news station for London had a complaint made against them for the broadcasting of ‘blipverts’ (short advertisments rather than sponsor credits) for DHL which was transmitted during the news headlines and the full news stories. A listener complained that this arrangement suggested the news was sponsored. The Broadcasting Code prohibits the sponsorship of news.
LBC pointed out that advertisements in news bulletins have been commonplace for some years across UK radio stations under the ?newslink? scheme. In a statement in the latest Broadcast Bulletin released today, LBC said it considered its listeners were intelligent enough to distinguish editorial from advertising of this nature.
LBC acknowledged that the approach was unusual but considered it was not against the rules. However, it noted that this particular advertisement had caused some concern and gave an assurance that it would not be repeated. In addition, LBC said that in future it would avoid including copy in advertisements which relates to the timing of news bulletins and would add in a ?sting? before and after the advertisement to provide an additional form of separation from the news bulletin.
Ofcom has welcomed the steps taken by LBC which are intended to ensure that future campaigns comply with the Broadcasting Code. Therefore Ofcom consider the complaint resolved.