17 December 2003

Radio Authority publishes quarterly Complaints Bulletin for fourth Quarter of 2003

The Radio Authority is today (17 December) publishing its Quarterly Complaints Bulletin for October - November 2003. The Authority's Quarterly Bulletin details all complaints and adjudications for those two months and is available online. Complaints received and ongoing in December were passed to Ofcom.

During the quarter, the Authority considered 67 complaints about programming and advertising on commercial radio throughout the UK. 34 concerned programming matters, of which 13 were upheld. Of those upheld, 10 concerned taste, decency and offence and 3 related to other matters.

The Authority also considered 33 advertising and sponsorship complaints, of which 3 were upheld all concerned misleading advertisements.



  1. Details of all adjudications are set out in the Quarterly Bulletin, published today and available online at www.radioauthority.org.uk (Regulation).
  2. Listeners who wish to comment on, or complain about, something they have heard on commercial radio should first always consider contacting the radio station concerned. However, if listeners remain dissatisfied with the broadcaster's response or wish the complaint to be considered by Ofcom, they must promptly contact Ofcom.
  3. Ofcom will consider complaints about all aspects of programming, advertising and transmission. Complainants must give precise dates and times of broadcasts concerned. Ofcom will investigate, asking the station for copies of relevant tapes. Radio stations must keep recordings of all their broadcasts for forty-two days. After that time there may be no recordings to which to refer, so it may be impossible to pursue complaints about output outside this period.
  4. When a complaint is upheld, Ofcom can direct a radio station to broadcast its finding or a correction. It can also impose a penalty, which can include a fine or the shortening or suspension or revocation of a licence.
  5. At the end of this year, the Radio Authority will cease to exist, and its responsibilities for licensing and regulating Independent Radio will pass to Ofcom, the new converged regulator for the communications sector. See the Ofcom transitional website at www.ofcom.org.uk for more details.


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Revised: December 17, 2003