British Government Shoots Down Digital Radio Promo

May 5, 2010

As it turns out, the phrase "never say never" is more than just the title of actor Sean Connery's last cinematic hurrah as British secret agent 007. It also summarizes a recent admonition by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding a promotional campaign extolling the virtues of digital radio in the UK.

According to a story by Mark Sweeney in the Guardian UK, a recent flight of ads generated by the Digital Radio Development Bureau (DRB) was banned by the ASA for being misleading. The brouhaha was prompted by a citizen complaint about a radio ad that suggested DAB radios were immune to the interference and dropouts experienced by analog radio users. During the ad, an announcer's voice is heard with sporadic dropouts along with noise even as it advises that digital radio is immune to those annoyances.

Although the DRB appealed the ruling, saying its ads were really aimed at promoting DAB's noise immunity, the ASA stood by their decision, noting that digital signal dropouts can occur within the coverage contours of DAB multiplexes, particularly in built-up urban areas.

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