Ofcom has reminded all stations to make competition rules clearer on-air after finding U105 in breach of the broadcasting Code.
A winner complained when she was told she couldn’t win a Winning Weekend competition twice, even though it was on different shows, on different days. The complainant was told she won after listening for a cue to call and getting through to the station. But two days later, staff at the station rang to inform her the terms state a listener can only win once.
Ofcom investigated and found that no information about the condition that prohibits previous winners from entering was broadcast in either show.
U105 explained that it has seven different presenters across the weekend who each send the details of winning competition entrants to a Sponsorship and Promotions team which then contacts the winners. The Licensee said that it was only during this process that it identified a listener had been successful on two different programmes. It then contacted the complainant to apologise and explain the situation.
UTV Radio said that its presenters were briefed to read a line on air referring listeners to the station’s website for full terms and conditions. However, having listened to the occasions referred to by the complainant, the Licensee accepted that this did not happen in these instances and apologised for the oversight.
But the station maintained both that the competition was conducted fairly and that its rules were clear as it had adhered in this case to the terms and conditions which were available to listeners on the station’s website.
In response, Ofcom said it was concerned by U105’s assertion that the inclusion of a general reference to its online terms and conditions would – in its view – have been sufficient to ensure compliance with the Code.
“We remind all broadcasters that important conditions must either be broadcast or made clear to potential participants as appropriate,” Ofcom says.