Community radio station in breach for sponsoring local news

Cando FM in Barrow-in-Furness has been found in breach of its Ofcom licence for running a sponsor credit into its local news bulletins.

Following an investigation, the regulator found the sponsor tag wasn’t paid for but part of an agreement between the radio station and a local Business Improvement Bid.

The news intro, as broadcast on January 6th 2022, said: “And now on FM, online and DAB across South Cumbria, Cando FM Local News, sponsored by Barrow BID.”

After the news, the VO continued: “Cando FM Local News, sponsored by Barrow BID. Promoting Barrow town centre and keeping our local community informed”.

Rule 10.3 of the Broadcasting Code prohibits any commercial reference, or material that implies a commercial arrangement, in or around news bulletins.

Community service Cando FM told Ofcom it thought the tag would not be considered a commercial reference because the ‘Barrow BID’ is a government initiative and non-profit making organisation.