B4U Music has been pulled up for exceeding commercial airtime 85 times during routine monitoring by Ofcom in the UK.
Ofom stated, “During routine monitoring Ofcom identified 85 incidents on B4U Music where the amount of advertising in a clock hour appeared to exceed the permitted allowance. The overruns varied in length, the most significant being three minutes and 14 seconds.”
In response to this, B4U Music said it was a human error. It explained that in July, the person responsible for scheduling its advertising left the company without notice and that a temporary scheduler from a different territory was transferred to cover this position.
B4U said that while the total amount of advertising it broadcast across the days in question was compliant with COSTA requirements, the temporary scheduler did not take into consideration the individual clock hour restriction set out in Rule 2 when inserting advertising breaks.
Ofcom acknowledged that these incidents were the result of human error and took into account the measures undertaken by the Licensee to train relevant staff in this area and to implement a system which automatically highlights compliance issues. However, in this case, on a significant number of occasions, the amount of advertising broadcast in a clock hour exceeded what is permitted. The Licensee therefore breached Rule 2 of COSTA.