BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor and Canterbury Television Ltd - 1994-110

Members
  • I W Gallaway (Chair)
  • W J Fraser
  • L M Loates
  • J R Morris
Dated
Complainant
  • Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL)
Number
1994-110
Programme
DB Sport
Channel/Station
CTV
Standards Breached


Summary

DB Sport is the title of a weekly sports programme broadcast by CTV each Monday

between 9.00–10.00pm.

GOAL, through its spokesperson Mr Turner, complained to Canterbury Television

Ltd that sponsorship credits for DB Draught appeared more than 30 times during the

broadcast on 22 August. Accordingly, he wrote, the programme breached the standard

prohibiting the saturation of incidental liquor promotion.

Denying that the words "DB Draught Sport" which appeared at the bottom of the

screen alongside the name of the person calling in during the talkback segment of the

show were a sponsorship credit, CTV declined to uphold the complaint. Dissatisfied

with CTV's decision, Mr Turner referred the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards

Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.


For the reasons given below, the Authority upheld the complaint and ordered CTV to

broadcast a statement.


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.

DB Sport is the title of a weekly sports magazine programme broadcast by CTV at

9.00pm each Monday. It has been the subject of six formal complaints referred by

GOAL to the Authority when it has been dissatisfied with CTV's decision on the

complaint. The first decision (No: 8/93 dated 15 February 1993) dealt with, and

upheld, a complaint that the broadcast of DB Sport on 7 September 1993 (then at

7.00pm) involved the saturation of liquor promotion under the standard which was

then applicable – standard 29 of the Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

Decision No: 69/93 (dated 9 June 1993) reported a similar complaint – and a similar

decision – and, upon upholding the third complaint for a similar breach, the Authority

in decision 93/93 (dated 9 August 1993) ordered CTV to broadcast a brief summary of

that decision. CTV complied with that order.

The fourth decision (No: 13/94, dated 5 April 1994) dealt with a complaint about DB

Sport, broadcast at 9.00pm on 9 August 1993, under the Programme Standards for the

Promotion of Liquor. CTV upheld the complaint under standard A3.b and the

Authority, having decided that the action taken by CTV was insufficient and, in

addition, upholding the complaint under standard A3.a and A3.c, imposed an order

requiring the broadcast of a more extensive statement. CTV appealed that decision

and that appeal is yet to be resolved.

CTV upheld GOAL's complaint about the saturation of liquor promotion contained in

the broadcast of DB Sport on 18 April 1994. The Authority agreed with CTV's

decision and commented (Decision No: 90/94 dated 29 September 1994):

At this stage and taking into account CTV's apparent effort in recent months to

ensure that formal complaints are dealt with competently, the Authority decided

on balance to encourage CTV to build on its increasing professionalism, and not

to impose an order. At the same time, it was far from satisfied both at the time

CTV took to respond to the complaint and the length of the process which has

elapsed to ensure that DB Sport complies with the standards. Consequently, it

believed that CTV should be warned that should a further contravention of

standard A1 occur with regard to future broadcasts of DB Sport, it must expect

the imposition of a serious penalty.


As will be apparent from the correspondence (summarised in the Appendix), upon

receipt of GOAL's complaint about this programme (DB Sport screened on 22

August) CTV counted eight screen logos broadcast during the hour-long programme

which, it argued, did not amount to saturation. CTV asked GOAL whether the

complaint also included the words "DB Draught Sport" – not the logo – which

appeared at the bottom of the screen when the name was given of each caller during

the talkback segment of the programme. GOAL confirmed that it was indeed referring

to this wording which, it maintained, constituted a sponsorship credit. In response,

CTV maintained that the wording only gave the programme's name and, explaining

that the number of DB logos which appeared during the programme had been

substantially reduced following the complaint dealt with in decision 90/94, declined to

uphold the present complaint.

Upon examining the programme broadcast on 22 August, the Authority agreed with

CTV that the number of DB logos had been considerably reduced since the ruling on

the previous DB Sport (on 18 April – No: 90/94). On the 18 April programme, the

logo usually appeared in the top left hand corner when the name of the person being

interviewed was screened. That practice had stopped by the time the 22 August

programme was broadcast.

Indeed, if it was required to decide whether the saturation standard had been breached

solely on the number of logos, it would have had no hesitation in declining to uphold

the complaint. On the other hand, if it decided that the wording "DB Draught Sport"

amounted to a liquor promotion, it would then have little hesitation in upholding the

complaint. In Decisions Nos: 151–155/93, the Authority ruled that the saturation of

liquor promotion was breached in sports programmes when more than one liquor

promotion was broadcast every three minutes on average measured over the entire

programme. In this instance, the number of logos and wording totalled more than 30

during an hour-long programme – ie it unquestioningly amounted to saturation

according to the Authority's measurement.

The key decision in this complaint was whether or not the wording amounted to a

liquor promotion.

GOAL alleged that the broadcast breached standard A1 of the Programme Standards

for the Promotion of Liquor. It 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.


In considering whether the wording amounted to a "liquor promotion", the Authority

turned to the definition section included in the Programme Standards which records:

"Liquor Promotions" for the purpose of this code are:

* liquor advertisements

* sponsorship advertisements by liquor advertisers

* programme sponsorship credits by liquor advertisers; and

* trailers for programmes and events sponsored by liquor advertisers.


A "programme sponsorship credit" was the only possible category into which the

wording "DB Draught Sport" could fit. In determining whether those words

amounted to such a credit, the Authority turned to the Code for Advertising Liquor -

promulgated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) – as that Code includes

definitions for each of the categories of "liquor promotion" listed above. It defines a

"programme sponsorship credit" as:

an acknowledgment during a broadcast programme of a liquor advertiser's

sponsorship of the content or broadcast of that programme.


In view of that definition, the Authority concluded that the wording "DB Draught

Sport", especially when presented in the style and colour used in DB advertisements,

screened when the name of a caller was given, was, in addition to the name of the

programme, an acknowledgment of sponsorship and thus a liquor promotion.

Accordingly, it concluded that the broadcast of DB Sport on 22 August breached

standard A1.

 

For the above reasons, the Authority upholds the complaint that the broadcast

of DB Sport by Canterbury Television Ltd at 9.00pm on 22 August 1994

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) of the

Broadcasting Act 1989. In deciding on this point, the Authority had to balance CTV's

improvement in reducing the saturation of liquor promotions between the programmes

broadcast on 18 April and 22 August with its views reported in the statement

(recorded above) included in Decision No: 90/94.

At this stage and taking into account CTV's apparent effort in recent months to

ensure that formal complaints are dealt with competently, the Authority decided on

balance to encourage CTV to build on its increasing professionalism, and to impose an

order involving the publication of a statement only. At the same time, it was far from

satisfied both at the time CTV took to respond to the complaint and the length of the

process which has elapsed to ensure that DB Sport complies with the standards.

In view of the number of complaints upheld in the past two years, the Authority

considered that a statement which was more than a summary of the decision was

necessary. Should further complaints about DB Sport be received and upheld, the

Authority gives notice that future orders are most likely to involve a direction to CTV

to refrain from broadcasting advertising programmes for a specified period of time. On

this occasion, acknowledging both the number of complaints upheld and CTV's

improving compliance with the standards, the following order is imposed.

Order

The Authority orders Canterbury Television Ltd to broadcast on DB Sport

within one month of this decision a statement approved by the Authority which

is a summary of this decision and which also states the rationale for the

standard which requires that incidental liquor promotion be minimised.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Iain Gallaway
Chairperson
7 November 199


Appendix

GOAL's Complaint to Canterbury Television Limited - 29 August 1994

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

Turner, complained to Canterbury Television Ltd about the programme DB Sport

broadcast between 9.00 - 10.00pm on Monday 22 August.

During the programme, he wrote, sponsorship credits for DB Draught appeared more

than 30 times and on some occasions were visible for more than 20 seconds. Together

with the two DB advertisements which were broadcast during the commercial break,

Mr Turner maintained that they had breached the prohibition on the saturation of

liquor promotions.

Further Correspondence

CTV advised GOAL in a letter dated 1 September that it counted eight screen logos

and commented:

I can only assume that you are referring to the phone in section of the

programme where the name of the person calling in appears at the bottom of

the screen next to the words DB Draught Sport, it does not have DB's logo,

and is the name of the programme.

It asked whether these were the matters complained about.

In his reply of 4 September on GOAL's behalf, Mr Turner said CTV's assumption

was correct and added:

There is no doubt in my mind that the words DB Draught constitute a

sponsorship credit. The definitions section of the Broadcasting Standards

Authority Programme Standards for the Promotion of Liquor makes it clear

that a sponsorship credit is a liquor promotion.

CTV's Response to the Formal Complaint - 6 September 1994

In its response to the complaint, CTV maintained that the words "DB Draught Sport"

at the bottom of the screen were the programme's name - not sponsorship credits.

Pointing out that the number of logos which used to appear during the programme had

been substantially reduced following an earlier complaint, CTV argued that the

broadcast now complied with the programme standards.

GOAL's Referral to the Broadcasting Standards Authority - 10 September 1994

Dissatisfied with CTV's response, on GOAL's behalf Mr Turner referred the

complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting

Act 1989. He maintained the complaint that the frequent appearance of the words

"DB Draught Sport" breached the saturation standard.

CTV's Response to the Authority - 14 September 1994

When asked whether it wished to respond to the Authority on the complaint, CTV

declined to do so.

GOAL's Final Comment to the Authority - 19 September 1994

GOAL did not add to the substance of the complaint in its final comment to the

Authority.