Global has been found in breach of two Broadcasting Code rules for playing a song containing two offensive words a total of seven times in one week on Heart Extra.
The song in question – All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar – was only taken off rotation when the station was alerted to the broadcast of offensive language by a listener. The track included one instance of the word “[email protected]@k” and one instance of the word “[email protected]@er”.
The group admitted it had been broadcast seven times from June 14th to 22nd 2018 following Ofcom’s enquiry into the complaint.
Two of the plays were during the weekend, when children were particularly likely to be listening. The rest were during the daytime, and all plays were during automated, presenter-free hours.
Global said that the latest RAJAR figures for Heart Extra show that there are typically no children listening to the station between 09:00 and 13:30. The Licensee did, however, accept that the content of the lyrics exceeded the expectations of the audience of the station.
The Licensee explained that it had investigated the issue and discovered that the track had been mistakenly attributed to a file for a different track. It said because the track was labelled incorrectly, staff had been unable to identify that it contained explicit language and this resulted in it being inadvertently played on Heart Extra on seven occasions during its daytime music-only programming.
It also outlined the actions that it said it had subsequently taken to prevent a recurrence of this issue including more spot checks of the output by the producer responsible for the station.
The end result is that Global has been found in breach of Rule 2.3 (generally accepted standards) and Rule 1.14 (to ensure people under eighteen are protected).