Absolute Radio have terminated the contract of presenter Allan Lake after repeated on-air references to a so-called 'electronic cigarette' were found in breach of the Ofcom code.
Lake, who hosted a late night call in show on the station, made reference to the fact that he was trying to quit smoking and was consequently sent an 'e-cigarette' by the manufacturers, Smart Smoker, to test and discuss on air.
Lake took to the task with aplomb, making constant reference to the product, remarking: “…I was sent from smartsmoker.co.uk an electronic cigarette. Basically it’s got these little capsules of nicotine in and it’s much healthier…” and “for a smoker these are like the best invention ever … it’s safe for everyone around you … nicotine isn’t going to give you cancer…”
A spokeswoman for Absolute Radio said: "Absolute Radio reacted swiftly and decisively to this matter. On receiving the complaint from Ofcom, station management immediately suspended Allan Lake and re-briefed him on the Ofcom broadcasting code.
"Absolute Radio was commended by Ofcom for the prompt action taken in addressing this situation both with the presenter and the relevant staff at the station.
"Ofcom found Allan Lake in breach of the code on two counts. Following this determination, Absolute Radio has terminated Allan Lake’s contract."
Responding to Ofcom, Absolute Radio admitted that the subject matter was ‘an ill-judged editorial choice on the part of the presenter’.
In its ruling, Ofcom found there ‘was no editorial justification for the frequency and prominence of these references’ and the broadcaster in breach of rules 10.3 and 10.4.
"Absolute Radio prides itself on its accomplished and experienced broadcasters and producers," said the spokeswoman for Absolute Radio. "The station received a record seven Sony nominations this year for its highly skilled, entertaining communicators."
"We committed to nurturing and developing a music and entertainment brand with strong clear brand values that are fully complicit to the Ofcom broadcasting code."