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talkSPORT in breach of Ofcom rules

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 22 September 2014, 7.49am edt

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talkSPORT, the national sports talk radio station, was today found in breach of advertising rules by UK media regulator Ofcom.

A complaint was made about a 'commercial reference' (a presenter-read commercial) for Paddy Power, the bookmaker. The complainant noted that the offer wasn't available; and talkSPORT also admitted to the regulator that the reference hadn't been pre-cleared.

Ads for gambling have to be centrally cleared by the RACC, according to the rules. talkSPORT noted that not to obtain clearance was an 'oversight'.

The commercial reference promoted a special deal when signing up for a new account and putting a bet on England winning the World Cup. Paddy Power had received five similar complaints about the matter, said talkSPORT, and they admitted that it didn't comply with the rules, and therefore Ofcom treated the advertisement as misleading.

talkSPORT say they've since put together a new policy to avoid a recurrence of the matter. Paddy Power, the bookmaker, didn't comment.

Ofcom noted two code breaches against the broadcaster but didn't levy a fine. You can read the full adjudication on the Ofcom website.

Ofcom investigated no other complaints about radio in this period. There were twenty five complaints about various radio services that were not investigated further. Two investigations are underway about community station North Manchester FM and Bauer Media's Westsound FM.

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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