These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Programme Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.
Showing Complaints & Interventions Report for INTERVIEW: MTV Base and Videoclash
Channel: MTV UK
Date & time: Monday 22 January: 8.00pm and Monday 16 April: 3.35pm
Complaint from: 1 viewer (upheld); 3 viewers (upheld)
MTV Base is an MTV digital channel dedicated to R&B and Hip-Hop. On 22 January it broadcast a brief feature about Eminem and Dr Dre which contained an interview – transmitted in a break between programmes – with the two artists. Videoclash is a live show where viewers’ votes, via text messaging or their PCs, determine which of a selection of videos are played.
A viewer complained about the interview on MTV Base with Eminem and Dr Dre which contained repeated sexual expletives. Separately, three viewers complained that the uncut version of Robbie Williams’s ‘Rock DJ’ video was played in Videoclash on MTV UK.
MTV very much regretted both errors. The interview was never intended to be broadcast before the 9.00pm watershed. Unfortunately, due to a communication breakdown between the producer of the material and the MTV Base scheduling team, the interview was aired at 8.00pm. Once alerted to the error, a late-night restriction was placed on the material, the screening and restrictions processes for future material of this type were reinforced and the error was discussed with the relevant staff members.
The uncut version of the Robbie Williams video was indeed marked as unsuitable for broadcast before 10.00pm. However, at a period of heavy pressure on scheduling, and against all company guidelines, a member of staff from a different department was allowed to assist, resulting in the incorrect version of the video clip being included. The individual concerned was formally reprimanded.
ITC staff met MTV to discuss these and other recent errors which have resulted in interventions against the company. MTV had thoroughly investigated all the interventions and believed they had genuinely occurred as the result of human error. In the context of the increasing number of channels they now operate, the number of interventions was relatively small, but the company was anxious to eliminate them. As a result, a new system of informal and formal warnings for staff had been introduced, internal compliance seminars were held on a regular basis, and the possibility of installing a new software system which would collate all desk-top data bases, including ITC restrictions data, was being explored.
The ITC noted the prompt action MTV took in response to both issues, nevertheless a breach of the Programme Code had occurred in each case. The recent run of interventions against MTV was a matter of great concern but the ITC acknowledged that the company was taking significant preventative steps, and for this reason, no further action was recommended at this time.