Statement on behalf of Newstalk 106-108 fm

Category: News

RTÉ has once again refused to broadcast a television advertisement submitted by Newstalk 106-108 fm. The ad was initially rejected on Thursday 17th April, based on standard advertising guidelines submitted by Newstalk. Newstalk subsequently submitted the finished product to RTÉ, which was again rejected last Thursday, 1st May.

Speaking today, Mr Gerard Whelan, Newstalk CEO said that “RTÉ is continuing to abuse its dominant position. Last month, Kevin Bakhurst appeared before an Oireachtas committee stating that RTÉ’s competitors were “talking to other people who they want to lure away from us”, referencing “people with bottomless pockets”. I am baffled that RTÉ, who received approximately €181 million in licence fees income in 2012, can decline substantial commercial income at a time when they are complaining of financial pressures, requesting further funding from the exchequer and thereby placing more pressure on the license fee payer and the tax-payer.”

“I find it surprising that RTÉ can reject our advert because it contains a ‘call to action’. Surely every advert contains a call to action – buy this product, visit this website or call this number. RTÉ is happy to let taxpayers fund its out-dated decisions because they feel that our nationally recognised slogan, ‘Move the Dial,’ will entice people to listen to Newstalk. There is no logic to their continued refusal to accept adverts such as ours other than their continued efforts to suppress their competitors”. Mr Whelan added.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Neal Cummins, FleishmanHillard, +353 87 629 1091