Ofcom resolves Radio 1 swearing complaint
Radio 1’s strong compliance procedures have saved the station from getting a complaint upheld by Ofcom.
The station broadcast a song with two instances of the F-word during a live set from Ibiza on a Saturday afternoon at 16:57hrs.
But because the station showed the regulator how much effort went into briefing the DJ, Martin Solveig, who was mixing songs live, and put out an apology straight away, the complaint was marked resolved.
The broadcaster said that this was “an isolated incident” that had “occurred despite strict compliance measure imposed by the production team”. The BBC clarified that it was “standard practice…to brief all contributors on what is appropriate and acceptable language for particular broadcast timeslots”.
In this case “all of the contributors and representatives were informed in advance, in writing, of the BBC ‘s requirements”. A copy of an email the BBC sent to Martin Solveig and his representatives on 30 July 2016 stated:
“He [Martin Solveig] will have a very early set time (4.00pm UK time) so it’s absolutely essential that his set is completely free from swearing and controversial content (i.e. drugs/references/violence). We will pull his set if this rule is broken”.
The programme producer also spoke to the DJ and his representatives on the day of broadcast “to remind them of the need to ensure there was no strong language or inappropriate content in his set”
The BBC said that on spotting the error the producer immediately spoke to the presenter “and instructed him to issue an on-air apology as soon as the song finished”. It added that as this was “the final track” in the set “there was no need to consider ending his performance”.
The broadcaster stated that “the compliance measures in place were appropriate for a live broadcast of this kind” and concluded that “the incident was solely the result of an unfortunate and inadvertent error” on the part of the contributor.