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GWR FM kept 10k bingo prize

Good Music Bingo was the game, ten thousand pounds was the prize – and one lucky winner was taken to air to win the lot. But after station bosses checked her ‘bingo card’ it turns out she didn’t have all the artists listed.

So GWR FM in Bristol kept the money and didn’t award the prize. The unlucky listener then complained to Ofcom who investigated further.

In responce, GCap, which owns GWR FM, confirmed that the complainant had not had a winning card. It said that the listener had been told before she was taken to air that the award of the prize was subject to checking that her game card had been correctly completed. However, it acknowledged that it should have had in place ?a more robust process for checking whether a claimed ?winner? was in fact a winner before taking him/her to air.?

The broadcaster said that it had taken the decision not to refer subsequently on air to the complainant having not won the competition. It believed the original announcement of her winning would have resulted in most other players discarding their game cards. The station therefore decided that, ?to have resuscitated the competition in such circumstances would have been impractical and unfair? and, instead, it elected to run a further competition with a prize of ?10,000, at a later date.

Nevertheless, GCap maintained that the original competition had been conducted fairly, with prizes that had been described accurately and rules that had been clear and appropriately made known.

So whilst it is not up to Ofcom to say whether or not the listener should win the prize, they do say listeners who participated were entitled to know that the main prize had not been won, why it had not been won, and that the station had decided to resolve the matter by running another competition with the same prize.

Because GWR FM did not announce these, Ofcom found the broadcaster in breach of Rule 2.11 of the Broadcasting Code which states: ?Competitions should be conducted fairly, prizes should be described accurately and rules should be clear and appropriately made known?.

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