An presenter on GWR Wiltshire has been found in breach of Ofcom rules for promoting his own public house and inviting listeners to come down for a drink, during an outside broadcast from the venue.
The location for one of three outside broadcasts during St George's Day celebrations was The Steam Railway public house in Old Town, Swindon, which is owned by the presenter of the drive-time show. On various occasions throughout the programme, the presenter stated that the programme was broadcasting “live from The Steam Railway in Old Town, Swindon” and invited listeners to come to the pub to celebrate St George’s Day. The listeners were informed that some free cream teas were being given away.
One listener was so concerned that the presenter was promoting his pub by “encouraging listeners to go to his pub for a drink” so he or she complained to Ofcom.
Rule 10.3 prohibits the promotion of products and services in programmes and Rule 10.4 prohibits undue prominence being given to such products and services.
GWR said last minute difficulties mean the pub was chosen as a matter of availability and convenience, and that the invitations to listeners to come to the pub “were not deliberately made as free commercial references but merely to celebrate the spirit of the occasion and to encourage general public participation” and that the presenter had not received payment for the use of his pub.
Ofcom was not happy with the presenter's comments such as “join us for drink” and “come down here and have a beer” so found the station in breach of Rule 10.4.