Media regulator Ofcom has fined Lakeland Radio £15,000 for unfair conduct of competitions. The penalty was levied after the station ran three listener competitions called Suss the Celeb.
Lakeland broadcast three ‘guess the celebrity voice’ competitions, inviting listener entries by telephone or text. Over approximately 85 daily rounds the station utilised a policy of deliberately selecting entrants to go to air with the wrong answers, thus unfairly extending the competition.
In its ruling, Ofcom found that the Licensee had failed to put in place sufficient compliance procedures and checks, and that there had been a lack of appropriate compliance training for its staff.
Specifically, the competitions were found in breach of Rule 2.11 of the Broadcasting Code which states “Competitions should be conducted fairly…” Ofcom has also directed the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings.