BRMB recently ran a competition to win tickets to Athens and watch the Champions League final. They just forgot to mention that Athens is a local restaurant with a big screen telly, until six days in. Enter Ofcom with an official complaint.
Of course we all know rule 2.11 means we shouldn't confuse listeners about the true nature of a prize, but that didn't stop drivetime presenter Rick Vaughan who said: "this is our biggest prize so far” and gave the impression that the prize was an opportunity “to
be there with me right across to Athens”.
The station did kind of own up eventually, conducting an interview with the restaurant manager, but even that left listeners confused, Ofcom said today. One of the winners wife complained – but was offered a full refund of 25p – the cost of the text to enter the competition. Another two winners complained to the station.
Ofcom asked the broadcaster to comment on the item in the context of Rule 2.11, which states: “Competitions should be conducted fairly, prizes should be described accurately and rules should be clear and appropriately made known”.
They responded by saying that the station wanted to ensure that the competition was fun and engaging for its listeners and, to a large extent, they believed that this had been achieved. They maintained that there was no attempt by the radio station to mislead contemptuously or deceive its listeners or engage in any practice that could be deemed less than exemplary. They further added that the radio industry is a highly competitive market where there is a need for radio stations to show genuine creativity so as to attract listeners.
BRMB was found guilty as charged and in breach of Rule 2.11.