Storm TV, 3rd July2011, 16:00
Storm Afternoons is an interactive daytime babe channel broadcast on the service Storm (Sky channel number 966). The licence for the service is held by Chat Central Ltd.
A complainant alerted Ofcom to the broadcast of offensive and racist language during Storm Afternoons on the afternoon of 3 July 2011.
After inviting viewers to contact the studio, the female presenter placed the microphone beside her but neglected to switch it to mute. As a result, her conversation with callers and a man off-screen was audible for approximately 14 minutes. During this time, the following clearly audible phrases were broadcast:
- I feel fucked
- Oh fucking hell
- I fucking hate this song. How the fuck can you dance to this in a club. Fuck off
- I feel too fucked
- I wish black guys called me. I get all the Paki
- Rule 4.2 Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
- Rule 32.3 Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.
The Licensee acknowledged that not only had our compliance procedures not been followed but that the error had not been duly reported to the company management team. It added that the language used by the presenter was wholly unacceptable, whether broadcast or used in the workplace and as a result of this the presenter was dismissed as soon as this incident came to light.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of BCAP Code Rules 4.2 and 32.3
Ofcom noted that the content was highly offensive and clearly exceeded the expectations of the audience. Ofcom concluded that relevant timing and scheduling restrictions were not applied to the broadcasts so as to offer adequate protection to children and therefore the material was in breach of Rule 32.3.
Ofcom concluded that relevant scheduling restrictions were not applied so as to ensure that the material which was broadcast was not capable of causing serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards. The material was therefore in breach of BCAP Code Rule 4.2.
Ofcom was particularly concerned that the repeated broadcast of the most offensive language appeared to go undetected by the broadcaster for approximately 14 minutes. Ofcom considered this raised serious questions about the robustness of its compliance procedures. In view of the measures taken by the broadcaster in response to this incident, Ofcom does not expect further breaches of the BCAP Code.