Asian Sound Radio has been found in breach for airing a misleading advertisement that suggested all flights from the UK to Pakistan were for 420 GBP.
A complainant alerted Ofcom to a commercial reference for Pakistan International Airways (PIA) read out by a presenter on Asian Sound which stated that: “PIA are offering tickets from the UK to Pakistan for only 420.”
However, upon calling PIA to purchase tickets shortly after the broadcast, the complainant was advised by PIA that there were none available at this price.
The radio station told Ofcom it recognised that the way the commercial reference was written could lead a person to believe that all flights would have been priced at 420 regardless and that a further line was necessary to ensure the listener was aware that prices may fluctuate according to demand.
Asian Sound Radio, which broadcasts in Greater Manchester, also said that there was a process failure within its sales department and as such, information regarding pricing and availability was not confirmed before going to air.
PIA confirmed that fares of 420 had been available but that this had been on a “first come first served basis” which had not been made clear in the script.
Ofcom concluded that the material did not comply with the relevant advertising rules, the broadcast breached rule 10.7 of the Broadcasting Code with reference to rules 3.1 and 3.28 of the BCAP Code.
Rule 10.7: “Commercial references in programming must comply with the advertising content and scheduling rules that apply to radio broadcasting.”
BCAP Code Rule 3.1: “Advertisements must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.”
BCAP Code Rule 3.28: “Broadcasters must be satisfied that advertisers have made a reasonable estimate of demand.”