Media Watch vs Ben Fordham: “Shaking up the advertising lines”
The ABC’s Media Watch had a crack at 2GB’s Ben Fordham this week about content on his show around The Man Shake, and Ben has come out fighting.
“Apologies to the majority of you who could not give a stuff about Media Watch in the first place”, said Ben on his show.
According to this week’s episode of Media Watch, they believe 2GB have potentially breached the Commercial Radio codes of practice saying:
“Now we have no problem with Ben Fordham reading ads for anybody as long as it’s clear that they’re ads. But personally endorsing a product in which his brother has a financial interest is a different matter.
We think that should be off limits or at least that Ben’s listeners should be told.
We also think his off-the-cuff endorsements are potentially in breach of the Commercial Radio code of practice , which states that:
Advertisements broadcast by the licensee must be presented in such a manner that the reasonable listener is able to distinguish them, at the time of the broadcast, from other program material. – Commercial Radio Code of Practice.”
The thrust of Media Watch’s argument centres on the lines being blurred, and listeners knowing what is and ad, and what isn’t. On Ben’s show this afternoon he came out stating, amongst other things:
“The hosts don’t receive any commission.”
“Just like the others, Man Shake is a full paying advertiser on 2GB.”
Ben also stated that he answered Media Watch’s questions concerning The Man Shake ahead of the show Tuesday night on the ABC.
“I answered every question they asked…. They were paid ads… Last night they ignored those facts.”
“….5 of the 7 pieces of audio Media Watch played last night were paid advertisements but they didn’t tell their audience the information they were armed with. Instead they played the bits of audio with no context and claimed they had trouble knowing what was what.”
“Very misleading indeed.”
“Especially for a program that goes round lecturing others on journalistic standards.”
Ben then went on to defend his brother Nick who has a 10% share in the Man Shake Company.
“The truth is Paul, I don’t need lessons in ethics from Media Watch. I know where the line is and I do not step over it.”
Ben may have had the last laugh by highlighting that the Man Shake website has had a huge increase in new visitors to their website with traffic up 450% compared to last Monday.
You can read the full Media Watch transcript here or take a listen to Ben Fordham’s counter below.