Tindle Radio's Dream 100 has apologised to Ofcom after a presenter on the station invited listeners to text in, via premium rate SMS, for requests during an automated programme.
During the Saturday early breakfast show, the presenter said: "…I’ve just had a text here from Matt. Matt say’s can you please play me a classic, classic tune to keep him awake, as he’s working in Harwich at the moment. Yep, Matt, I’ll play your song next at Dream 100."
Around ten minutes later, the presenter gave the following direct ‘call to action’:
"It’s an early Saturday morning and If you are up at work then I will do my best to get you a mention – six, double four, double seven – start your message with the word, ‘dream’, if you want to text me this morning.”
A listener looked at the studio webcam, provided on Dream 100’s website and saw that there was nobody in the studio. He said that he then phoned the broadcaster but nobody answered his call. It appeared that listeners had been invited to text in when there was no chance of having requests played or being mentioned on air.
Given that this output was pre-recorded, Ofcom asked the broadcaster for its comments on the matter.
Dream said that the number promoted in this case was often used by Dream 100 and would be known by many regular listeners, whether or not it was announced during ‘automated’ programming. The broadcaster apologised and proceeded to carry out a disciplinary investigation with the presenter in question, who had also been the station’s Programme Manager and had since left.
Ofcom now feels the case has now been resolved.