Greater London Asian station Lyca Dilse 1035 has been found in breach of the Broadcasting Code for an unfair competition.
Evening show host Kajal asked a question, and asked listeners to call in with the answer to win a night out at a comedy event. But before the competition was closed, the presenter changed the entry question, instead asking listeners to identify which film a certain Bollywood track is from.
Station owner Lyca Media said it did not consider the competition had been conducted unfairly. It said that “the presenter had ‘stacked’ calls ready to go to air” and added that, “before any callers were put to air the presenter was informed by management that the question [she had broadcast] was flawed and she should re-run the competition”.
Lyca Media said that “no callers were taken to air and the competition was not formally entered by any individual”, adding that it “regret[ted] having changed the question but this was explained to listeners”.
The Licensee said that “this incident [had] highlighted the need to examine [its] procedures”, adding that it was now “undertaking a full review of competition practice and consequent training…”. The Licensee accepted that after the competition question was asked, and listeners were invited to answer it, the question should not have subsequently been changed.
Ofcom said: “After the presenter first solicited interaction from listeners, potential entrants responded by calling the station and being held electronically for a chance to participate on air. As the question was subsequently changed, these listeners were disadvantaged, as they then had no chance of entering or winning the competition on the basis upon which they had responded to the presenter’s invitation to participate.”
Ofcom’s decision was therefore that the broadcast competition was conducted unfairly, in breach of Rule 2.13 of the Code.