Radio XL in trouble with Ofcom over two incidents

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Birmingham’s Asian commercial station, Radio XL has been picked up on two recent rule-breaks, by media regulator, Ofcom.

The first incident took place in December last year during ‘The Vicky Gill Show’, in which the presenter heavily promoted the guest solicitor�۪s contact details.

This was followed by another rule-break in January this year on the show, ‘Navrang’. The presenter read “special offers” of a Birmingham grocery shop, which “sounded more like an endorsement”. Ofcom said that a listener complained that an advertisement was not separated from editorial content and sounded more like an endorsement by the presenter.

Radio XL challenged Ofcom’s decision by saying that the ‘The Vicky Gill Show’ in question, was “used to provide information to [its] listeners regarding family law and not a programme designed to promote the guest” and therefore it was “editorially justified in mentioning the guest�۪s details at the end of the programme”.

Radio XL continued that the “practitioner [could not] answer everybody�۪s question over the phone; there may be listeners who need[ed] to provide a more detailed history. For their benefit [the lawyer]…mentioned her phone number at the end of the programme”, which Radio XL believed was editorially justified and not unduly prominent.

Ofcom found the content in ‘The Vicky Gill Show’ was promotional and provided undue prominence for the company without sufficient editorial justification. Ofcom therefore found the programme in breach.

With regards to ‘Navrang’, the broadcaster said, the presenter did make a separation between the programming and live read by saying, “Now let us go towards this message ��� and this message we are delivering to you is on behalf of S&S Bargains…”

Ofcom considered that the 40 second presenter-read paid-for advertisement in ‘Navrang’ promoting the S&S Bargain Centre directly followed the broadcast of two songs and was presented seamlessly as programming. Ofcom judged that the words “Now let us go towards this message ��� and this message we are delivering to you is on behalf of S&S Bargains…” was insufficient to separate the advertisement from programming. The presenter-read advertisement was not separated from programming.

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