Punjabi community radio station, Raaj FM has been given a warning by Ofcom for continuously plugging sponsorship brands during a programme aired in April.
The ‘Raj Show’ featured sponsorship of a solicitors brand and the presenter mentioned it four “lengthy” times during the show. Each credit lasted between approximately one and three minutes. The sponsorship also included direct advertising messages, which is prohibited by Ofcom.
Ofcom’s rules and regulations state, “Credits must be short branding statements. However, credits may contain legitimate advertising messages.”
The broadcaster acknowledged that, in this instance, the presenter had “a style that [involved] an element of repetition and explanation of points which other presenters would not labour”, adding that this style was also “represented within the sponsorship credits with unnecessary repetition of key words and phrases and explanations that were not required.” It considered that “other presenters faced with the same task would have a different style and would present the sponsorship credit succinctly and in a much shorter time.”
The broadcaster said that it had also “reinforced” its training of presenters, “to highlight the difference between advertisements and sponsorship and the primary purpose of sponsorship credits being to inform listeners of the sponsorship arrangement.”