The Irish Radioplayer website homepage included the statement:
All of Irish radio in one place.”
The FAQ section of the website included the following question and answer:
“What is the Irish Radioplayer?
The Irish Radioplayer is the official Irish Radio mobile app available for both Apple and Android devices. Our aim is to make it a cinch to listen to radio on your smartphone or tablet. Every radio station in the Republic of Ireland is available on the app. You can listen live, catch up on programmes and view social media feeds from the stations. No need to change site or app. It’s all there in one place.”
The complainant considered that both the tagline on the home page “All of Irish radio in one place”, and the statement “Every radio station in the Republic of Ireland is available on the app” within the answer in the FAQ’s section of the website were misleading as not all of Irish radio was available on the app. The complainant said that the website stated that there were 43 stations listed on the app at the time of his complaint but that this figure did not include community radio stations, therefore, it did not include all Irish radio.
The advertisers stated that the Irish Radioplayer was a joint initiative between the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) and RTE Radio and that radio stations included on the player were members of one or other of these bodies. They said that the player was established as a means by which the commercial radio stations in Ireland, both RTE and Independent, could tap into commercial revenue which was migrating in ever increasing amounts towards digital media. In order for them to be able to attract the digital advertising and sponsorship the Radioplayer needs to prove listenership numbers and the stations that are on the Irish Radioplayer come under the JNLR listenership research providing necessary listenership figures and data, enabling the sale of advertising on the Irish Radioplayer. They said that the Radioplayer carried with it a significant cost that was born equally by the IBI and RTE and they were not in a position to cover the costs incurred by non-commercial broadcasters for their inclusion on the Radioplayer.
Finally, they stated that they were in the process of refreshing their website and would be removing the word “all” from their tagline which they considered would eliminate the problem.
The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee noted that the Irish Radioplayer app was only open to commercial radio stations in Ireland.
The Committee considered that the statement “All of Irish Radio in one place” and the answer in the FAQ section of the website which stated “Every radio station in the Republic of Ireland is available on the app” could reasonably be interpreted as they were written, that is, every radio station in Ireland, both commercial and non-commercial were available on the app.
The Committee noted that words such as ‘all’ and ‘every’ were absolute claims. As there were radio stations which were not eligible to be on the app, absolute claims should not be made as they could mislead.
The Committee welcomed the advertisers’ intention to remove the word “all” from their website, however, they noted that this would only address the statement published on their homepage. The Committee considered that both claims were in breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.
The absolute claims should be removed.
The Complaints Committee advised the advertisers to exercise greater care when using absolute language.