Ofcom has found KISS in breach of the broadcasting code after airing a song containing numerous swear words during the Top 40 on a Sunday afternoon.
Two listeners contacted Ofcom to complain about the broadcast of the song “Open Wide” by Calvin Harris at 17:45 on 2 November 2014. The complainants considered the offensive language and sexual references within the song’s lyrics were unsuitable for broadcast in the early evening.
The lyrics are:
“Turn flat chests into mountains
And ooh I love that ass
But I hate that fu**ing outfit
I’m taking off her blouses
While she taking off my trousers
That’s just a couple more problems
To add to the couples’ counsellin’
Open that sh*t wide
Let me see how big your mouth is”.
The station played the new song during a pre-recorded show as it was eager to broadcast it as soon as it was available. The show was built with a three minute window to put the track on as soon as it arrived from the record label, but wasn’t checked before broadcast.
As the show was pre-recorded, an apology did not air until seven days later during the same show.
KISS said it had “instigated internal disciplinary procedures against the producer involved” and “immediately deleted the track from all databases”. It also emailed all record label contacts informing them of this complaint and reminding them of the importance of providing radio edits wherever possible or at least flagging any product that contains explicit language.
Ofcom considered that the combination of the sexually suggestive lyrics within the song, along with the repeated use of the word ‘fu**ing’, resulted in the material being clearly unsuitable for children.
The regulator therefore found the station in breach of Rules 1.14, 1.3 and 1.5 of the Code.
Rule 1.14: “The most offensive language must not be broadcast…when children are particularly likely to be listening (in the case of radio)”.
Rule 1.3: “Children must also be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them”.
Rule 1.5: “Radio broadcasters must have particular regard to times when children are particularly likely to be listening”.