Belfast Telegraph

U105 faces censor for misleading listeners

By Margaret Canning

Radio station U105 – part of UTV Media plc – has been rapped on the knuckles for a "misleading" claim in a jingle.

The jingle promoting Drive With Johnny Hero was broadcast last month. It said it had the greatest market share in Belfast.

Rival station Downtown/Cool FM complained to Rajar, which measures audience numbers, on the basis that 'Belfast' does not qualify as a broadcasting area. The jingle was then removed.

But Stuart Robinson, deputy programme controller at the station, said it then made an official complaint because U105 did not publicly correct what it said was a "misleading" claim.

Upholding the complaint, Rajar said the jingle should have stated the correct 'total survey area' (TSA) for which the claim for audience share was made. In fact, the show has the largest market share in the Citybeat TSA, a reference to another radio rival.

U105 station manager Peter McVerry said it believed the original jingle was "factually right" but that what the station considered as "Belfast" was described by Rajar as the Citybeat total survey area (TSA).

"Rajar has confirmed that U105 is the market leader within the Citybeat TSA for U105 Drive with Johnny Hero (weekdays between 3pm-7pm), ahead of Cool FM, Radio Ulster, Citybeat and Downtown.

"However, it's not quite as snappy to have a jingle on air saying, 'U105 has the biggest market share Monday to Friday from 3 to 7 in the Citybeat TSA'.

"Nor do we think any of our listeners would understand what it means.

"But we had to comply with Rajar's request."

According to Rajar, Citybeat had a weekly listenership of 112,000, Downtown 267,0000, U105 200,000 and Cool FM 381,000 over the three months to December 2012.

Belfast Telegraph