London AM station Buzz Asia has apologised after broadcasting an out of date sponsor credit which contained an offer that was no longer valid.
Ofcom investigated a complaint from a listener who had tried to take up the offer with a restaurant, but following discussion with the station decided not to uphold the matter.
The listener had heard a sponsorship credit in the ‘Hit of the Hour’ feature on 20 August, promoting an all-you-can-eat-for-£15 offer at Flavors of India in Hounslow. The restaurant’s sponsorship of the feature had actually ended in June and the wrong sponsor credit was played on air in error.
Ofcom investigated whether Buzz Asia had broken the Broadcast Code since the advertisement was misleading. The station said that the Flavors of India sponsorship credit was broadcast in error on 20 August 2011 during the 09:00 to 10:00 and 10:00 to 11:00 clock hours. It explained to the regulator that it had been ‘unable to establish the circumstances surrounding the mistake, but assumed it had been caused by human error.’ The station acknowledged that the mistake was likely to have misled its audience and offered its apologies to both listeners and the restaurant.
Buzz Asia also says it has reviewed its procedures ‘to ensure that they are as robust as is practical’ and has ‘reminded those staff involved with the scheduling of the station’s output of the need to ensure the accuracy of the schedules.’
Making a ruling in today’s Broadcast Bulletin, Ofcom decided that even though listeners had been misled the matter was resolved. It noted that the station hadn’t received payment from the advertiser for the playing of the sponsor credit. A spokesman added: “It was clear that the broadcaster had not intended for the credit to be transmitted on these two occasions. We also welcomed the steps the Licensee told us it has taken to improve its procedures in the scheduling of sponsorship credits.”