BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Hadfield and The Radio Network Ltd - 2007-106

  • Joanne Morris (Chair)
  • Diane Musgrave
  • Tapu Misa
  • Paul France
  • Elaine Hadfield
Classic Hits

Complaint under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
Classic Hits – promos for breakfast show contained double entendres, some of which had sexual connotations – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency and unfair

The Authority’s Decision
Principle 1 (good taste and decency) – the tone of the promos was light-hearted – sexual connotations were tame and indirect – not upheld

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


[1]   Classic Hits broadcast promos for its Classic Breakfast show on 6, 8 and 9 August 2007.

[2]   The promo broadcast on 6 August stated "He’s like radio Viagra, getting you up in the morning. The Classic Hits breakfast with Glen Kirby".

[3]   The promo broadcast on 8 August stated "He’s got the face for radio and she’s got the body. It’s Glen and Jen on the Classic Breakfast".

[4]   The promo broadcast on 9 August stated "He’s got more balls than Lansdowne Park. The Classic Breakfast with Glen Kirby".


[5]   Elaine Hadfield made a formal complaint to The Radio Network Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that the promos were in breach of good taste and decency and fairness standards.

[6]   The complainant argued that the promos contained "offensive" double entendres with "sexual overtones" and that they were in breach of good taste and decency. She believed that the offensive items would "filter" through the general public down to children and that this was "unacceptable".

[7]   Ms Hadfield also maintained that the promo broadcast on 8 August was denigrating to women.


[8]   TRN assessed the complaint under Principle 1 and guideline 1a of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice. These provide:

Principle 1

In programmes and their presentation, broadcasters are required to maintain standards which are consistent with the observance of good taste and decency.

Guideline 1a

Broadcasters will take into consideration current norms of decency and good taste in language and behaviour bearing in mind the context in which any language or behaviour occurs and the wider context of the broadcast eg time of day, target audience.

Broadcaster’s Response to the Authority

[9]  TRN pointed out that the items complained of were "station ID’s" and that while they did contain double entendres, the implied sexual connotations were "tame".

[10]  The broadcaster maintained that it had an adult target audience and that most people would not have found the promos offensive. It declined to uphold the Principle 1 complaint.

Referral to the Authority

[11]  Dissatisfied with the broadcaster’s decision, Ms Hadfield referred her complaint to the Authority under section 8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989. She reiterated the arguments from her formal complaint.

Authority’s Determination

[12]  The members of the Authority have listened to a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority determines the complaint without a formal hearing.

Principle 1 (good taste and decency)

[13]  When the Authority considers a complaint that alleges a breach of good taste and decency it is required to take into consideration the context of the broadcast. The relevant contextual factors on this occasion include:

  • the tone of the items was light-hearted
  • the adult target audience of Classic Hits
  • the items were broadcast at approximately 6.40am.

[14]  The Authority agrees with TRN that the sexual connotations contained in the promos were indirect and tame. It considers that the tone of the promos was light-hearted and that the majority of listeners would not consider that they threatened standards of good taste and decency.

[15]  Taking the above contextual factors into account, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint that the promos breached Principle 1.


For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Joanne Morris
4 December 2007


The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

1.            Elaine Hadfield’s formal complain – 8 August 2007
2.           TRN’s response to the formal complaint – 3 October 2007
3.           Ms Hadfield’s referral to the Authority – 11 October 2007
4.           TRN’s response to the Authority – 19 October 2007