The BBC Trust has criticised Radio 1 bosses for giving far too much exposure to the film ‘Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince’ via the station’s Harry Potter Day.
It’s the third time in a year that Radio 1 has been criticised by the BBC regulator for giving undue exposure to commercial entities through its programmes. At the start of the year a Radio 1 Coldplay promotion and the wider BBC’s U2 love-in around the release of Bono et al’s last record were likewise criticised.
BBC radio stations are not meant to get involved in commercial promotions, of course. When they do, commercial radio trade body RadioCentre will be quick to shop them to the Trust. That body’s boss Andrew Harrison told reporters yesterday: “This decision is the latest example of the BBC falling under the spell of celebrity and being hijacked for the promotion of an already successful commercial product”.
He continued: “For the BBC to break its own rules repeatedly is bad enough, but more importantly it is selling listeners short if its radio stations are allowed to move yet further away from their public service remit. As the Trust prepares its report on the BBC Strategy Review, we are urging it to be more ambitious and to put a stop to this kind of excessively commercial behaviour once and for all”.
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