Tuesday 25 September 2018

Blunder sees RTE broadcast adverts it had banned a year ago for Newstalk


RTE has admitted an embarrassing blunder caused their rival Newstalk's 'Move the Dial' ad to be aired following a year-long dispute.

Bosses at Montrose initially refused to broadcast the ad for their competitors in April of last year as they believed it breached their guidelines.

Newstalk lodged a complaint to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) claiming a breach of the Irish and EU competition rules.

The national radio station also argued that the stance taken by RTE was an abuse of a dominant position by refusing to take the commercial station's money.

But in the last week it appeared there was a breakthrough in the dispute as RTE began airing the advertisement in full.

However, a spokesperson for RTE told the Herald that the broadcaster "inadvertently aired" an edited version of the 'Move the Dial' ad that was not approved, which was described as an "error".

"We can confirm that a commercial which was not approved for broadcast on RTE was inadvertently loaded into our computerised transmission system and was therefore broadcast in error," the spokesperson said.

"The relevant copy has now been removed and replaced by the copy approved for broadcast.


"There has been no change to RTE guidelines in regard to approving copy."

RTE are airing an edited version of Newstalk's ad.

Cliona Hayes, group marketing director at Newstalk's Communicorp said that she hoped common sense would prevail and RTE would air the original 'Move the Dial' ad across its TV channels.

Ms Hayes added that Newstalk hopes that RTE "will be reviewing their competitor broadcasting guidelines going forward".

Separately, Newstalk lodged a complaint with the EU commission in Brussels claiming that the TV licence fee money paid to RTE was not in accordance with State aid rules set out in the EU treaty. This investigation is ongoing.

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