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RTÉ aired Newstalk's 'Move the Dial' ad in error

The ad was not due to be aired over the line ‘move the dial’.

Updated 6.05pm

Source: Newstalk 106-108 fm/YouTube

THIS NEWSTALK AD first emerged a year ago, but it has taken until now for RTÉ to air it.

However, it has emerged that the ad was in fact broadcast in error, and not because RTÉ changed its stance on the ad. It has instead replaced it with an approved version of the ad without the tagline that led to the dispute in the first place.

When the Move The Dial ad appeared, RTÉ said it would not air it because the tagline – ‘move the dial’ – at the end was a ‘call to action’. This meant the State broadcaster believed it was “in contravention of RTÉ’s ‘codes and regulations’”.

Newstalk said that the decision at the time was “motivated solely by [RTÉ's] determination to curb the listenership of a competitor”, to which RTÉ replied that it has broadcast ads from competing stations before.

Today, Newstalk 106-108 FM welcomed RTE’s decision to broadcast its ‘Don’t Hold Back’ ad.

But it has emerged that there was no decision made at all, and it happened by accident.

In a statement to TheJournal.ie, RTÉ said:

We can confirm that a commercial which was not approved for broadcast on RTÉ was inadvertently loaded into our computerised  transmission system and was therefore broadcast in error. The relevant copy has now been removed and replaced by the copy approved for broadcast. There has been no change to RTÉ Guidelines in regard to approving copy.

In April 2014, Newstalk lodged an official complaint with the CCPC (Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) claiming a breach of the Irish and EU competition rules.

The station also 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. The latter investigation is ongoing.

RTE showing end frame (1) Source: Newstalk

Newstalk said it removed the ‘Move The Dial’ call to action in April 2015 and submitted a new version to RTE which was accepted.

Cliona Hayes, Group Marketing Director, Communicorp said that Newstalk welcomed the airing of the ‘Move The Dial’ ad – but did not state in the press release if Newstalk knew it was done in error.

It is believed that Newstalk did not know the unedited version of the ad was broadcast in error.

After it emerged that the version of the ad was aired in error, Hayes said:

We are hugely disappointed to hear this was a mistake after RTE airing the ad numerous times over a full week.  Just when we thought that RTE had come to their senses.

She re-iterated the station’s comments about believing the decision not to air the ad in its original format being “motivated by the desire to diminish the effectiveness of Newstalk’s campaign, and to curb the listenership of a competitor”.

We lodged a complaint with the CCPC over a year ago and we expect to receive a decision presently.

Read: This is the Newstalk ad RTÉ refused to carry>

Read: Newstalk lodges complaint over RTÉ’s refusal to run ad>

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