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Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor and Canterbury Television Ltd - 1994-049

Members
  • I W Gallaway (Chair)
  • R A Barraclough
  • L M Dawson
  • J R Morris
Dated
Complainant
  • Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL)
Number
1994-049
Programme
DB Sport
Channel/Station
CTV
Standards Breached


Summary

DB Sport was the title of the programme broadcast by CTV at 9.00pm on 22 November

1993.

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

complained to Canterbury Television Ltd that material promoting DB Draught Beer was

screened thirty times during the hour long programme. Thirty incidents of liquor

promotion during an hour programme, he continued, amounted to saturation of liquor

advertising in contravention of the Programme Standards for the Promotion of Liquor.


When CTV did not respond to the complaint within 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 accepted that

the broadcast involved the saturation of incidental liquor promotion and said that steps

had been taken to ensure that such saturation did not occur in future programmes.


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, wrote to CTV about the programme DB Sport,

broadcast between 9.00–11.00pm on 22 November 1993, which he said screened the

logo for DB Draught beer on 30 occasions. That number of screenings, he complained,

amounted to saturation of liquor promotion and, consequently, 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 the reason for not responding, CTV said that it believed that

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

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

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

complexity of some of the jurisdictional issues involved, the Authority accepted that CTV's

failure to respond did not entail a deliberate avoidance of its responsibilities.


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

that the Authority did not have the jurisdiction to deal with the issue as the complaint

referred to advertisements. In reply, the Authority discussed the respective jurisdictions of

the ASCB and itself and explained that the issue of programme scheduling – and the

consequent question of the saturation of liquor promotions – was one for which it was

responsible.

Pointing out that it considered 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 the complaint. On that basis,

CTV wrote:

... we accept the complaint and have taken steps with our production 

people to make sure this does not happen again.


The Authority decided that this amounted to an acknowledgment that the broadcast had

contravened the limitations on liquor promotion contained in standard A1. Although CTV

did not refer to the point, the Authority recalled that in Decision Nos: 151/93–155/93

(dated 18 November 1993) it ruled in relation to a number of broadcasts of Aussie League

on 2 that the broadcast of more than one liquor promotion every three minutes when

measured over the entire programme amounted to the saturation of liquor promotion.

On this occasion, the one hour-long programme showed the DB logo at least 30 times

and, in addition, included a number of verbal references to DB. That number, the

Authority considered, clearly transgressed the standard.

Taking account of the date of the Authority's decisions which set the guideline (18.11.93)

and the date of the broadcast complained about on this occasion (22.11.93), together

with CTV's undertaking to ensure that the saturation standard was not contravened

again, the Authority accepted that CTV's action was sufficient.

 

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

the broadcast by Canterbury Television Ltd of DB Sport on 22 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.

The Authority notes that it has ruled on complaints about CTV's DB Sport on previous

occasions (Decision Nos: 8/93, 69/93, 93/93 and 13/94). The Authority is aware that

some of the more blatant breaches of the standards contained in DB Sport have been

reduced and, in some cases, eliminated, and, accordingly, has decided in view of this

positive trend not to impose an order 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 DB Sport from 9.00 - 10.00pm on Monday 22 November.

Noting that material promoting DB Draught beer was screened about 30 times during the

hour long programme - including promotions lasting 20, 15 and 45 seconds - Mr Turner

maintained that this number of liquor promotions constituted saturation advertising in

contravention of standard A1 of the Programme Standards for the Promotion of Liquor.

GOAL's Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority

CTV did not respond 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's first two replies are dated 26 April.

In the first letter, CTV explained that it believed that the complaint had been settled by the

Advertising Standards Complaints Board (ASCB). However, it now appreciated that 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 that of the BSA's. It

sought the Authority's response on this point.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority's Reply to CTV

The Authority sought the ASCB's opinion. It reported that it did not have jurisdiction over

issues involving the saturation of liquor and, accordingly, pursuant to s.8(2) of the Act the

matter was within the BSA's jurisdiction. In a letter to CTV dated 16 May 1994 the

Broadcasting Standards Authority reviewed other provisions in the Act and the standards

and explained why saturation was within its ken.

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 that 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 it accepted the complaint and had taken steps "to make sure this does not

happen again".

GOAL's Final Comment to the Authority

When asked whether he wished to respond to CTV's reply, Mr Turner declined in a letter

dated 2 June 1994 on GOAL's behalf.