The Broadcasting Standards Authority has not confirmed a complaint about a 95bFM promotion that includes a series of profanity it has used for 25 years.
Jeremy Evans complained about the station’s ad, saying it “conjured up unpleasant images of a sexual nature” and violated the standard of good taste and decency.
The ad, or promotion, has been posted on 95bFM for 25 years. He said the radio station did its best to comply with the Broadcasting Standards Authority and its rules and guidelines.
“If you really think we have crossed the line on the air, please call us at 309 4831 and let us know. We will be able to assist you and inform you of the procedure if you wish to make a formal complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
“Fuck – knuckles, shit and piss, balls. Thanks.”
In his complaint, Evans said that after listening to the promotion for three years he “couldn’t take it anymore” and was filing a formal complaint in the hope that bFM would stop playing it and “could learn something useful in broadcasting to a broad spectrum. listeners “.
He took offense at the bad words.
“These are not just naughty words … they create unpleasant mental images of a sexual nature. Also, I find the word ‘f ***’ offensive when used without any context, and especially in combination with ‘knuckles’ …
“In addition to this, I am of the opinion that your ad is antagonistic to the BSA and its purpose. It seems to ‘lift your finger’ at the BSA in what I see as a youthful attempt at humor.”
The station’s program director responded, telling Evans that the intent of the ad was “far from sexual,” and most listeners would find the words “semi-ridiculous, even silly.”
“The reason our BSA ad contains a somewhat blatant coda is far from disrespecting the institution: it is a complicity wink to our listeners. A wink that says: we know you are an insightful listener, a listener informed, attentive, pushes the envelope, and is much more likely to complain about political or social injustices, rather than ‘bad language’. “
The promotional ad had been running for 25 years and was so popular that the station turned it into a limited edition t-shirt, which later became one of the best-selling merchandise items.
“While I understand that it is not possible to please everyone all of the time, I nevertheless understand that my responsibility as Program Director for 95bFM is to your listeners. Unfortunately, in this regard, you seem to be outnumbered. We will not be removing the stain from rotating at this point. “
When his complaint was referred to the authority, Evans acknowledged that “I think this is intended to be irreverently humorous”, but reiterated that it “conjures up unpleasant images of a sexual nature.”
The authority’s acting chairwoman Susie Staley said that 95bFM was an alternative independent radio station, owned by the Auckland University Student Association, Media Trust, and that its target and likely audience are young adults.
“The curse words used in the segment are not used in an aggressive or sexually graphic way, and have no discernible meaning as a combination of words, but rather are used satirically.”
The authority can only intervene “when the level of harm justifies putting a reasonable limit on the right to freedom of expression,” and it did not do so in this case, Staley said.
“The Authority found, in the context, and particularly in light of 95bFM’s intended and intended audience and their expectations of the radio station, the segment was unlikely to cause widespread undue offense or distress or undermine widely shared community standards. “.