Ofcom resolves Absolute Radio complaint
A complaint to Absolute Radio has been resolved after the station played a sponsor tag featuring an expired offer.
“Ian Wright’s Rock N Roll Football” was broadcast throughout the Euro 2012 football tournament and was sponsored by Currys and PC World. Sponsorship credits included: “Don’t miss any of the action this summer with a 60” LED Superscreen Sharp TV, now available under £1,000 at Currys PC World.” A listener contacted Ofcom after finding he wasn’t able to purchase the television for that price.
Absolute confirmed that the offer was promoted in sponsorship credits a total of 88 times between 8 June and 1 July 2012. However Currys and PC World said that, due to an “internal communication error”, it had changed the price of the promoted television “when it should have remained static for the duration of the sponsorship promotion”. This meant that the offer was only available when the first six of the credits were broadcast, between 8 June and 12 June. Ofcom considered that after this time, when the offer wasn’t available, listeners were likely to have been misled.
However, Ofcom noted that an internal communications error by the sponsor appeared to have been the principal cause. Absolute had sought and received an assurance of the offer’s validity prior to broadcast, and said in future it would make regular checks on a sponsor’s website, to verify the accuracy and availability of relevant broadcast promotional offers.
Absolute had also sought central clearance of the offer from the RACC, who said that, if an advertiser promoted a product at a particular price, it assumed the product would be available at that price, adding that “it would be impractical … to ask every advertiser in these circumstances to demonstrate in advance that this [was] the case.”
Ofcom therefore considered the complaint resolved.