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Love is not on air: radio station rapped for Valentine's guide

PUBLISHED: 16:33 07 June 2018

KL.FM967's offices in King's Lynn. Picture: Archant

KL.FM967's offices in King's Lynn. Picture: Archant

Archant

A radio station has had its knuckles rapped for broadcasting a Valentine's Day guide.

King’s Lynn-based radio station KL.FM 96.7 told listeners their recommendations of the most romantic places in West Norfolk to visit.

But it was not all hearts and flowers with radio regulator Ofcom, which said it breached the rules.

According to a report dated June 4, Ofcom received a complaint about references to local businesses which were broadcast during hourly news bulletins between 6am and 12pm on February 14.

The report states: “The complainant considered the references to businesses were advertising.”

Ofcom stated that this was a breach of rule 10.3 of their code, which prohibits any commercial reference, or material that implies a commercial arrangement, in or around news bulletins.

KL.FM 96.7 were approached for comment but declined.

Its news editor Chris Craddock mentioned five hotels in the West Norfolk area, stating that these were “just a few of the most romantic places we love about our area that you may or may not have known about”.

During the bulletins, listeners were encouraged to contact the station via social media to comment on their favourite places to go with their loved ones.

Ofcom stated that the five hotels were repeatedly mentioned throughout the morning which gave them “unjustified prominence.”

It added: “Especially as alternatives were sought by the news reporter but were not included.

“In our view, KL.FM listeners were likely to have assumed that the references to specific businesses had been made as a result of commercial arrangements.”

The report states that the licensee, KLFM Ltd, considered KL.FM 96.7 a “very well-run radio station that takes its obligations seriously and treats the Ofcom Code with the utmost respect.”

They said the radio station received no complaints for many years and that the news editor was relatively new and “keen to bring a new style of creativity to [its] bulletins.”

They added the news editor carried out the bulletins with “misplaced enthusiasm”, adding: “On this occasion [the editor] could be said to have over-stepped the line.”

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