Twilight Promotions and TV3 Network Services Ltd - 1994-120
- L M Loates
- J R Morris
- I W Gallaway
- W J Fraser
- Twilight Promotions
BroadcasterTV3 Network Services Ltd
TV3's recently discontinued daily life style magazine programme 5.30 Live included a
regular review of shows. On 11 August, after the presenter and the guest had referred
to a number of shows, the presenter said of "The Great Legends of Rock" that it
sounded like a show worth missing.
A director of the company which had promoted the show throughout New Zealand,
Mr Cottle of Twilight Promotions, complained to TV3 Network Services Ltd that the
unacceptable remark breached broadcasting standards as it was based on minimal
Declining to uphold the complaint as the nominated standards did not apply, TV3
nevertheless maintained that the light hearted comment gave the show free publicity
and would not have been taken seriously by viewers. Dissatisfied with TV3's reply,
Mr Cottle on behalf of Twilight Promotions 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 declined to determine the complaint.
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.
"The Great Legends of Rock" was the final show considered by the presenter and her
guest on 5.30 Live when briefly commenting on the shows being performed
throughout the country. The guest was slightly hesitant in his comments as to the
content of the show and the presenter observed:
Sounds like one to miss.
Mr Cottle, a director of Twilight Promotions which had promoted the show,
complained to TV3 that the comment was unacceptable, was apparently based on
minimal knowledge and breached standards G14, G19 and G20 of the Television Code
of Broadcasting Practice.
Those standards read:
G14 News must be presented accurately, objectively and impartially.
G19 Care must be taken in the editing of programme material to ensure that
extracts used are a true reflection and not a distortion of the original event
or the overall views expressed.
G20 No set formula can be advanced for the allocation of time to interested
parties on controversial public issues. Broadcasters should aim to present
all significant sides in as fair a way as possible, and this can be done only
by judging every case.
The comment, he added, had had an impact on ticket sales.
Pointing out that 5.30 Live was a magazine show which dealt with a variety of
lifestyle issues, TV3 explained that none of the nominated standards applied. By way
of comment, it reported that the broadcast had given free publicity to the show and
that the light-hearted remark would not have been taken seriously by viewers who had
made up their minds whether or not to see it.
In view of TV3's response, Mr Cottle did not refer the standard G19 aspect of the
complaint to the Authority. He disputed TV3's "free publicity" observation, noting
that it was the type of publicity which the show did not need. He also produced
evidence reporting the show's excellent reception in 11 cities.
In assessing the complaint, the Authority considered first whether the nominated
standards were applicable. As standard G14 is concerned with news and as standard
G20 deals with controversial public issues, the Authority agreed with TV3 that
neither standard was relevant to a comment made on a magazine style programme
which dealt with lifestyle issues. Accordingly, the Authority decided not to determine
The Authority nevertheless considered that the presenter should not have commented
as she did. While it is impossible to assess whether this particular remark had a
positive or negative impact on ticket sales, in the Authority's opinion such
throwaway lines, even if intended to be light-hearted, should not be broadcast if there
is any chance that they could interpreted adversely.
For the above reasons, the Authority declines to determine the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
1 December 1994
Twilight Promotions' Complaint to TV3 Network Services Limited - 6
A director of Twilight Promotions (Mr William Cottle) complained to TV3 Network
Services Ltd about a comment made by the presenter (Ms Louise Wallace) in a
discussion with a guest about the shows which were on during the 5.30 Live
programme broadcast on 11 August 1994.
Noting that he was the promoter of the recently completed "Great Legends of Rock"
tour throughout New Zealand, he said that the presenter had said.
It sounds to me like a show worth missing.
Describing the comment as unacceptable and apparently based on minimal knowledge,
Mr Cottle alleged that it breached standards G14, G19 and G20 of the Television
Code of Broadcasting Practice. He added that the cast and advertisers expressed
disbelief at the remark but that it had had an impact on ticket sales.
TV3's Response to the Formal Complaint - 26 September 1994
When advising the complainant of its Complaints Committee's decision, TV3 assessed
the complaint under each of the nominated standards.
As standard G14 refers to news, TV3 said that it was inapplicable. TV3 explained
that 5.30 Live was a magazine programme which dealt with a wide variety of life style
issues such as entertainment, fashion and food.
TV3 added that standard G19 was also inapplicable as editing had not been involved.
Similarly, standard G20 did not apply as the matter discussed was not a controversial
Declining to uphold the complaint under the nominated standards, TV3 concluded:
The Committee would add a footnote to its decision. It considered that the
remark complained of was delivered in a light hearted tone and would not have
been taken seriously by viewers who, for the most part, would have made up
their own minds as to whether they wanted to see "Great Legends of Rock". Its
mention on 5.30 Live provided the show with free publicity to about 70,000
people who otherwise might not have been aware of it.
Twilight Promotions' Referral to the Broadcasting Standards Authority - 20
Dissatisfied with TV3's decision, on Twilight Promotions' behalf Mr Cottle referred
the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the
Broadcasting Act 1989.
Referring to two of the three standards nominated, Mr Cottle said that, under standard
G14, the presenter expressed an opinion about a show which she had not seen. It
was, under standard G20, unjustified opinion and Mr Cottle enclosed some
complimentary reviews of the show.
With regard to TV3's footnote, Mr Cottle wrote:
It angers me for TV3 to state this comment was made in a light hearted tone and
wouldn't have been taken seriously by viewers. The type of publicity that TV3
are saying we received for the show to 70,000 viewers was publicity we
certainly didn't want, and it is my feeling that it should not have been broadcast.
Furthermore, it is my feeling that the comment did our show considerable
damage. I do not believe that nobody was put off the show by hearing a
respected presenter stating: "Sounds like one to miss". Your attention to this
matter will be much appreciated.
Attached to the referral was a letter signed by Guy Cater, President of the Variety
Artists Club who had been the compere for the "Great Legends of Rock" show.
Referring to the show's excellent reception in 11 cities, he described the presenter's
comment on 5.30 Live as "a nasty and uneducated, stupid piece of journalism".
TV3's Response to the Authority - 6 October 1994
TV3 advised that it did not wish to comment further. When notified of TV3's
decision, Mr Cottle by telephone on 11 October also said that he did not wish to add