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Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor and Canterbury Television Ltd - 1994-048

Members
  • I W Gallaway (Chair)
  • R A Barraclough
  • L M Dawson
  • J R Morris
Dated
Complainant
  • Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL)
Number
1994-048
Channel/Station
CTV
Standards Breached


Summary

Welcome to Canterbury, a programme broadcast by CTV at about 6.30am on 23

November 1993, provided tourist information about some aspects of life in Canterbury

and referred to a number of local business enterprises.

The Secretary of the Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL), Mr Turner,

complained to Canterbury Television Ltd that the broadcast contained three consecutive

liquor advertisements in contravention of the Programme Standards for the Promotion of

Liquor.

When CTV did not respond to the complaint after 60 working days, on GOAL's behalf Mr

Turner referred the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(b) of

the Broadcasting Act 1989. Without prejudice to an appeal against another decision

which challenged the Authority's jurisdiction to determine complaints which referred to

advertisements, CTV acknowledged that the standard had been contravened in view of a

ruling from the Advertising Standards Complaints Board issued after the broadcast. It said

that advertisements complained about had now been withdrawn from the programme.


For the reasons given below, the Authority agreed with CTV and upheld the complaint.


Decision

The members of the Authority have viewed the item complained about and have read the

correspondence (summarised in the Appendix). As is its practice, the Authority has

determined the complaint without a formal hearing.

Mr Cliff Turner, secretary of GOAL, complained to CTV that the programme Welcome to

Canterbury, broadcast at about 6.30am on 23 November 1993, included three

consecutive liquor advertisements. Consequently, he wrote, the broadcast breached

standard A1 of the Programme Standards for the Promotion of Liquor which reads:

A1  Saturation of liquor promotions, separately or in combination, must be

avoided. In addition, liquor advertisements shall not be broadcast

consecutively in any one break.


CTV did not respond to the complaint from GOAL and, after 60 working days, Mr Turner

referred it to the Authority.

When asked by the Authority for the reason for not responding, CTV said that it believed

the matter had been settled by a decision from the Advertising Standards Complaints Board

(ASCB) which had also referred to the same programme. However, it now appreciated

that this GOAL complaint raised a separate issue. In view of this explanation, the

Authority accepted that CTV's failure to respond did not entail a deliberate avoidance of its

responsibility under the Broadcasting Act.

In a second letter, CTV declined to respond to the complaint on the basis that the Authority

did not have the jurisdiction to deal with the issue as it referred to advertisements. In

reply, the Authority discussed the respective jurisdictions of the ASCB and itself and

explained that the issue of the broadcast of successive liquor advertisements was one for

which it was responsible.

Pointing out that the jurisdiction issue was an unresolved matter as it had been raised in

an appeal to the High Court against another of the Authority's decisions, CTV responded

on a "without prejudice" basis to this complaint.

CTV proceeded to explain that the ASCB hearing in February this year (referred to above)

had ruled that some segments of Welcome to Canterbury were liquor advertisements and

some were not. As it had decided that the three advertisements raised in this complaint

were of the type which the ASCB said were liquor advertisements, CTV acknowledged that

the broadcast which GOAL complained about contravened the standard. It also noted that

the broadcast complained about took place before the ASCB decision and, since that ruling,

the advertisements complained about had been withdrawn from the programme.

The Authority decided that its appropriate course of action in these circumstances was to

accept CTV's acknowledgment that the broadcast breached standard A1 as GOAL had

alleged. Taking account of the fact that the broadcast occurred before the ASCB ruling

about which segments of Welcome to Canterbury were indeed liquor advertisements, the

Authority acknowledged CTV's responsible action in response to that decision.

 

For the reasons set forth above, the Authority upholds the complaint that

the broadcast by Canterbury Television Ltd of Welcome to Canterbury on

23 November 1993 breached standard A1 of the Programme Standards for

the Promotion of Liquor.


Having upheld a complaint, the Authority may make an order under s.13(1)(d) of the

Broadcasting Act 1989. It does not intend to do so for the following reason. Albeit

belatedly, CTV upheld the complaint and has already taken action to prevent a recurrence

of the type of broadcast which was complained about on this occasion.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Iain Gallaway
Chairperson
30 June 1994


Appendix

GOAL's Complaint to Canterbury Television Limited

In a letter dated 5 December 1993, the Secretary of the Group Opposed to Advertising of

Liquor (GOAL), Mr Cliff Turner, complained to Canterbury Television Ltd about the

broadcast of Welcome to Canterbury on 23 November 1993.

At about 6.30am, Mr Turner wrote, the item included consecutive advertisements for the

Vesuvio Cafe and Bar, Vines Wine Bar and the Jolly Poacher. Consecutive liquor

advertisements, he continued, contravened standard A1 of the Programme Standards for

the Promotion of Liquor.

GOAL's Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority

CTV did not reply to the complaint within 60 working days. Before the expiry of 80

working days after the broadcast, in a letter dated 29 March 1994 Mr Turner on GOAL's

behalf referred the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(b) of

the Broadcasting Act 1989.

CTV's Response to the Authority

As is its practice, the Authority sought the broadcaster's response to the referral. Its letter

is dated 31 March 1994 and CTV replied twice in letters dated 26 April. In the first, it

reported that it believed that the complaint had been settled by the Advertising Standards

Complaints Board (ASCB). However, it now appreciated it was dealing with a separate

matter.

In the second letter, also dated 26 April, CTV argued that as the complaint was concerned

with advertising, it fell within the ASCB's jurisdiction rather than the BSA's. It sought the

Authority's response to this point.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority Reply to CTV

The Authority sought the ASCB's opinion on the issue raised by CTV. The ASCB

acknowledged that it had determined which advertisements in Welcome to Canterbury

were liquor ones and, accordingly, regarded that matter over which it had jurisdiction as

settled. However, it believed that as programme scheduling was a matter over which the

BSA exercised jurisdiction, the BSA could and should deal with matters such as saturation.

Moreover, as the ASCB specifically declined jurisdiction on saturation matters, it argued

that under s.8(2) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 the parties and the BSA were required to

accept that organisation's jurisdiction on the issue.

In a letter to CTV dated 16 Mary 1994, the Authority reviewed a number of provisions in

the Act and the standards and explained why GOAL's complaint was one with which it was

empowered to deal.

CTV's Response to the Broadcasting Standards Authority

In response, in a letter dated 30 May 1994, CTV explained that it did not necessarily

accept the point that the Broadcasting Standards Authority had jurisdiction but added that

this was a matter to be determined by the High Court in relation to an appeal by CTV

against another one of the Authority's decisions.

Stating that its comment on this occasion was without prejudice to those proceedings, CTV

reported that, subsequent to the broadcast complained about, the Advertising Standards

Complaints Board had determined which segments of Welcome to Canterbury were liquor

advertisements. As a consequence:

We can now advise that all segments of earlier Welcome to Canterbury

programmes which have been classified as advertisements by ASCB, including those

forming the subject of the complaint have been withdrawn from the programme.

GOAL's Final Comment to the Authority

When asked whether he wished to reply to CTV's response, Mr Turner on GOAL's behalf in

a letter dated 2 June 1994 declined to comment further.