Feeds

Ofcom slaps Beeb for Live Earth swearing

Naughty, naughty

The essential guide to IT transformation

Ofcom has administered the BBC a stiff dressing-down over unexpurgated, pre-watershed swearing during its coverage of Live Earth on 7 July last year, and has directed Auntie to broadcast a summary of its findings on both BBC1 and 2.

The Ofcom adjudication (pdf) explains: "22 viewers complained that the BBC broadcast unacceptable language before the watershed during this programme. There were six instances of performers using the most offensive language, such as 'motherfucker' and other variants of the word 'fuck'".

Although the BBC broadcast an apology for the multiple outrages, Ofcom notes that "there was in some cases a considerable delay in the broadcast of an apology".

It further states: "The breaches involved the repeated use of the most offensive language before the watershed; the breaches involved the transmission of some of the most offensive language at a time children were likely to be in the audience (in the afternoon on a Saturday); the BBC had previously been made aware that Ofcom had serious concerns over compliance failures with regard to the broadcast of similar and/or comparable events*; and the BBC had failed to deploy effective and appropriate procedures to prevent the broadcast of the most offensive language in a ‘live’ music event."

Accordingly, Ofcom ruled that the BBC had breached two sections of its broadcasting code: Rule 1.14 ("the broadcast of the most offensive language before the watershed"); and Rule 2.3 ("in applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context").

Ofcom said it would not impose a financial penalty for the breaches, but ordered: "The Committee considered that a direction to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on each of BBC1 and BBC2 in a form to be determined by Ofcom and on a specified occasion is a sufficient, and the most appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case.

"Such a statement would alert viewers to Ofcom’s decisions and the BBC’s repeated failure to comply with the Code, and through the adverse publicity created, act as an effective disincentive for the BBC not to repeat the sanctionable conduct."

The BBC said in reply it had "taken note" of Ofcom's findings. ®

Bootnote

*Specifically, 2005's Live8 concert, similarly foul-mouthed.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?