Ofcom says Heart slogan isn't misleading
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Ofcom says Heart slogan isn’t misleading

Ofcom has ruled that Heart’s ‘more music variety’ slogan is not misleading radio listeners about its playlist offer.

The regulator received a complaint questioning the use of the phrase, suggesting the network wasn’t offering variety in its music.

It follows previous complaints along the same lines and various blog posts on the topic.

In today’s Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin, the complaint is listed among those that the regulator has decided not to pursue because they don’t raise issues warranting investigation.

An Ofcom spokesman told RadioToday.co.uk: “The complaint questioned whether Heart played ‘more music variety’ than some other stations. We did not consider listeners were materially misled by this slogan.”

0 26 3501 08 May, 2012 Station News Tuesday, May 8th, 2012


  1. Radio Geordie

    Well there’s a suprise – OFCOM rules in favour of the biggest radio company in the UK – SHOCK!
    Funny, because I remember the comedian Andy Parsons on Mock the Week a couple of years back once saying “You’re listening to Heart FM.  The same 12 songs, every hour”.
    Many of the old small-scale licences broadcast more variety as their formats play music from right back to the 1960s up to the present day.
    On top of that, nearly 99% of community radio licences provide more variety than Heart do.
    By the way, the best way to complain about Heart’s (& Capital’s for that matter) lack of variety is to either re-tune to another radio station or HIT THE OFF BUTTON.
    Nothing says F.U. more than having no listeners.

    1. Ctb

      I agree, ‘fart fm’ has no variety. in fact the NOW digital test signal on the Notts DAB transmitter probably has more variety. At least I have a huge choice of stations on my phone/laptop/iPad.

      1. Amorr1970

        I don’t know if the test signal has more variety than Heart, but I do agree listening to Internet Radio certainly does, I can listen to thousands of stations if I wish, too many to speak off, but more variety than Heart or Capital any day.

  2. Paul Eeles on Facebook

    I’m not sure I’d complain but my wife & I’d did discuss how miss leading the slogan was and how repetitive their play list policy was and that their approach is repetitive and boring! Thanks goodness they have ED & Rachel in the west midlands for breakfasted cause it’s not their music that keeps us!

  3. Simon

    Commercial radio. Nobody cares. The only one worth any kind of anything is Talksport. The rest, without exception, are shite.

  4. Ruined FM

    Well no suprise as Heart, who play about 10 tracks, announce it as more music variety when it clearly isn’t. If I had it my way, these commercial networking plastic personality conglomerates would not exist as they would have been placed into automation with about an hours worth of music, four idents and a message explaining of someth…ing new which is revealed about a fortnight later when you can no longer receive the station as it would either be left with silence (as Myriad has packed in the week before and the backup disc is playing instead, but skips every so often that the disc is slowly melting) or converted to a locally owned community radio outlet which will serve the local audience better.

  5. Beerhowler

    More Music Variety ??? 
    Do us all a favour. McDonalds FM more like, no matter which one you end up with, same old repeated crap over and over and over again. When they took over South Hams Radio in South Devon they stripped the HDD library from 3000 tracks down to 400. So how is that ‘more music variety’ ?Global control UK commercial radio not Ofcom, Ofcom once again appears to be putty in the hands of these corporates.
    Ask the vast majority of residents here in South Devon, they certainly don’t listen to Heart that’s for sure, mainly because it has nothing to say locally, incidence of repeat songs is far too high, and who are these second rate D-List celebrity presenters anyway? It’s just not relevant and it is well hated in these parts. Just look at the RAJAR if you can believe that.

    1. MB

      The RAJAR shows that Heart Devon has a 30% weekly reach, so 30% of the people in the county are tuning in at some point during the week.

      South Hams Radio was loss-making and never made a profit because it was too small to attract sufficient advertising revenue to cover its costs . It’s commercial radio, it MUST make a profit to survive.

    2. Beerhowler

      I strongly suggest you read and take in the valid and perceptive points raised in Grant Goddard’s regular blog – example here  http://grantgoddardradioblog.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=heart 
      Now that Heart has become regional (Devon) the RAJAR diaries are scattered lord knows where, but likely to be centered on the Cities within the region, figures may well climb to 30% reach from more condensed urbanized population. Ironically 30% was the self same figure South Hams Radio achieved during it’s time on air as a truly local station, and there are no cities within the South Hams, but there are a wide and hugely varied listening audience.

      Before they were conveniently changed into a ‘Regional’ station, Heart South Hams were achieving 17% and stuck at that virtually throughout it’s time as a Heart station.

      I would be interested to know your background for stating “South Hams Radio was loss making and never made a profit”, well it did make a profit but was crippled by the merger with GWR / GCap (in the beginning it was originally independent) and through that merger was never able to achieve advertising revenue from it’s immediate neighboring areas of Plymouth and Torbay and Exeter (where many South Hams Residents spend their money on big purchases) That revenue had to go to Plymouth Sound and the two Geminis. During it’s final 12 months it made profit but by then the Global mincing machine had done the deal. 

      I know ’cause I was there for the entire duration.

      Read Grant Goddard’s blogs – there is much factual evidence that the likes of these hungry corporate’s aren’t even servicing there acquisition loans with their current revenue returns.

      Yes we are stuck with the likes of Heart, more so now they have swallowed Atlantic in Cornwall, so at least let the local community stations advertise local businesses and earn their place as a truly local station and serving the need that many many people in this part of the world fell robbed of.

      But of course Ofcom / Government decisions obviously don’t want a fair and level playing field. Hence the latest round of community stations in the Devon area that are not allowed to advertise because of the omnipresence of a regional giant like Heart with the vast majority of it’s programming coming from bloody London.

  6. Oldiesradioplymouth

    Internet Radio is the way to go. There are literally thousands of stations on the net.  They cater for pretty much everything you can think of. If you download an app for your smartphone you can then connect your phone to your car radio. I run an oldies internet station (i won’t mention the name in case i am not allowed to!). If people are not happy with their local Heart or other station it is easy to get a few people together and start one up.

  7. Guest

    The slogan by itself, on its own, is not misleading as it never says ‘more music variety (compared to..)’ That is how they get away with it, but everyone knows the repetition is horrendous (Time of My Life: Medley/Warnes; Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams; I’m So Excited, Pointer Sisters, etc etc etc). This is where the philosophy is severely flawed: You can’t say something unless you back it up, and just because you say something (More Music Variety) doesn’t make it so. To make it worse, when you say something (More Music Variety) but then do the opposite (play the same songs over and over) you’re credibility with the listener(s) goes down the drain. Listeners are not stupid; they shouldn’t  be treated as if they are.

  8. Guest

    No, no, no ….you’ve got it all wrong. They don’t have much variety ‘cos the database doesn’t hold that many tracks, see?  Aaaaaaawww

  9. nige

    Shart FM is the worst thing that can happen to any artist as they play the same track over and over again and again until a tune you used to like you begin to hate

  10. daza

    i have moved to Plymouth radio, sick and tired of hearing…Passenger, james blunt- bonfire heart, robin thicke, pink, pink, more pink, when will they learn they are losing listeners at an alarming rate.

  11. tim

    I absolutely despise Heart. My wife has it on all day and the repitition drives me out of the room. They could fit their playlist on a 1gb USB drive

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