Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor and Canterbury Television Ltd - 1994-110
- I W Gallaway (Chair)
- J R Morris
- L M Loates
- W J Fraser
- Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL)
BroadcasterCanterbury Television Ltd
DB Sport is the title of a weekly sports programme broadcast by CTV each Monday
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.
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
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
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.
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
7 November 199
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
CTV advised GOAL in a letter dated 1 September that it counted eight screen logos
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