BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Henderson and TVWorks Ltd - 2011-126

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Carol Henderson
TVWorks Ltd
TV3 # 3

Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
Promo for The Jono Project – contained brief silhouette image of a woman bouncing up and down apparently having sex – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, responsible programming and children’s interests standards

Standard 1 (good taste and decency), Standard 8 (responsible programming), and Standard 9 (children’s interests) – image was fleeting, dark and relatively indistinct – promo did not contain any AO material – promo appropriately classified PGR and screened during Dr Phil – broadcaster adequately considered children’s interests – not upheld

This headnote does not form part of the decision.


[1]  At approximately 1.30pm during Dr Phil, broadcast on TV3 on 22 and 23 September 2011, a promo for The Jono Project was shown, which contained a brief silhouette image of a woman bouncing up and down, apparently having sex.

[2]  Carol Henderson made a formal complaint to TVWorks Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that the broadcast of the promo during Dr Phil was inappropriate, as children could be watching. She acknowledged that Dr Phil was rated PGR, but did not consider that the programme itself contained any material that warranted an AO classification, unlike the promo.

[3]  The issue is whether the broadcast of the promo in this timeslot breached Standards 1 (good taste and decency), 8 (responsible programming) and 9 (children’s interests) of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[4]  The members of the Authority have viewed a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Did the promo breach standards of good taste and decency?

[5]  When we consider an alleged breach of good taste and decency, we take into account the context of the broadcast. On this occasion, the relevant contextual factors include:

  • the promo was broadcast during Dr Phil, which was rated PGR
  • it was broadcast at 1.30pm during the school term
  • Dr Phil’s adult target audience
  • audience expectations of Dr Phil
  • The Jono Project was rated AO and screened at 10pm.

[6]  In our view, the image in the promo subject to complaint – a silhouette of a woman bouncing up and down – was fleeting, dark, and relatively indistinct. It was clearly exaggerated with the intention of being humorous, in keeping with the premise of The Jono Project, and was not explicitly sexual. Taking into account that Dr Phil was clearly aimed at adult viewers and classified PGR, we do not consider that most viewers would have been unduly surprised or offended by the content of the promo.

[7]  Accordingly, we decline to uphold the complaint that the promo breached Standard 1.

Was the promo correctly classified and screened in an appropriate host programme?

[8]  Standard 8 requires broadcasters to correctly classify programmes and adhere to the time-bands set out in the Free-to-Air Television Code.

[9]  The promo subject to complaint was broadcast at approximately 1.30pm during the school term, during Dr Phil, which was classified PGR. The PGR classification is defined as follows in Appendix 1 to the Code:

PGR – Parental Guidance Recommended

Programmes containing material more suited for mature audiences but not necessarily unsuitable for child viewers when subject to the guidance of a parent or an adult.

[10]  For the reasons discussed above in paragraph [6], we are of the view that the content in the promo was not unsuitable for supervised child viewers, and therefore was appropriately rated PGR. We do not consider that the promo contained any material which warranted a higher classification of Adults Only (although we note that, in accordance with Appendix 1, broadcasters are permitted to screen Adults Only programmes between 12pm and 3pm on weekdays during school terms).

[11]  Accordingly, we are satisfied that the promo was correctly classified and screened during an appropriate host programme, and we decline to uphold the complaint under Standard 8.

Did the broadcaster adequately consider children’s interests?

[12]  Standard 9 requires broadcasters to consider the interests of child viewers during their normally accepted viewing times – usually up to 8.30pm. The promo subject to complaint was broadcast at 1.30pm during the school term.

[13]  For the reasons outlined above in our consideration of Standards 1 and 8, we are satisfied that the broadcaster adequately considered the interests of child viewers in screening the promo during Dr Phil. The programme was not targeted at children, and we consider that any sexual connotations that may have been gleaned by adult viewers would have gone over the heads of any young preschool-age children who were at home during the day. Accordingly, we decline to uphold the Standard 9 complaint.


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

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority


Peter Radich
20 December 2011


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

1                  Carol Henderson’s formal complaints – 23 and 28 September 2011

2                 TVWorks’ response to 23 September complaint – 26 September 2011

3                 Ms Henderson’s referral to the Authority – 3 October 2011

4                 TVWorks’ responses to the Authority – 26 and 31 October 2011

5                 TVWorks’ additional submissions – 16 November 2011