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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 19 January 2021
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RTÉ 'turned down' €200k to air this Newstalk advert

Newstalk offered the state broadcaster a lucrative advertising campaign – but was turned down because it’s a competitor.

RTÉ said this statement from Newstalk's proposed ad breached its code of advertising.
RTÉ said this statement from Newstalk's proposed ad breached its code of advertising.

RADIO STATION NEWSTALK has claimed it offered to pay RTÉ €200,000 to carry an extensive advertising campaign for the station – but the broadcaster turned down the cash purely because it’s a rival broadcaster.

A television campaign advertising the commercial broadcaster – using the tag-line “get the news without the state-run spin” – was turned down by RTÉ, who said it breached its code for advertisers.

Newstalk CEO Frank Cronin told The Star he was surprised that RTÉ would turn down such a massive advertising spend.

Newstalk’s money was “not good enough for RTÉ”, he said, adding that the proposed TV ad (below) was “fantastic”.


The advertising campaign, which was initially set to run from now until the election but which was then extended, would have seen a total of over €200,000 being spent by Newstalk and going into the coffers of the national broadcaster.

But Kevin Dawson, RTÉ’s head of corporate communications, said the broadcaster had no problem taking ads from rival broadcasters – but that the code of practice explicitly banned ads that claimed superiority or denegrated any other broadcaster.

Newstalk’s claim that listeners could “hear it [news] first” implied that it was more efficient than other broadcasters, while the use of the phrase “State-run spin” was also deemed to be an implicitly pejorative claim.

RTÉ already carries advertisements for Sky’s satellite television service. Newstalk had not yet returned contact on whether it had offered the ad to other broadcasters when TheJournal.ie tried to get in touch.

Read more in today’s Irish Daily Star >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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