BBC and Apple – latest

BBC and Apple – latest

Today the BBC Trust is considering our complaint about undue product prominence.

It all started on 2 March 2012 when we approached the BBC expressing concern about undue product prominence amounting to advertising.

On 20 August we sought a status update and received the following by return:

Please accept my apologies for not keeping you updated regarding your appeal.

I am afraid that, due to a large amount of Committee business to be considered in September, your appeal will now be considered by the ESC at their October meeting.

Except of course, it wasn’t.

Any decision today will be confirmed at their December meeting.

As we have progressed this complaint we uncovered more grist for the mill.

In our original complaint we argued that there was no determinable process for determining what constituted undue product prominence. The guidelines provide an indication but according to the information we received subsequently there are no underlying tests, for example:

  • beyond any doubt
  • beyond reasonable doubt
  • balance of probabilities
  • common understanding

We provided an example of a programme we thought demonstrated the correct approach to discussing a product in a manner that avoided undue prominence. (You and Yours, June).

In September, we were given insight in how the editorial guidelines appear to be applied as a consequence of listener/viewer complaints discussed on BBC Radio “Feedback”.

The head of Editorial Standards for network radio defended charges of undue prominence with regards to “Facebook” and “Twitter”. We have annotated the ways in which he appears to show one or more of:

  • poor understanding
  • lack of research
  • inappropriate comparisons
  • inconsistency
  • poor logic

Accordingly, it’s going to be interesting to discover if and if so, how the BBC Trust will defend the original complaint

Our full annotation may be downloaded from here (7 pages, pdf, approx 300kByte).

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