Thursday, January 14, 2010

BBC: We went U2 far

That eye-watering slew of U2 programming across the BBC back when No Line On The Horizon was released has been ruled as being frankly bloody embarrassing (I paraphrase slightly) by the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit:

The use of the mathematical symbol for identity in the graphic "U2 = BBC" gave an inappropriate impression of endorsement.

A pre-recorded interview between Zane Lowe and Bono of U2 was for the most part appropriate, but a reference to Radio 1 being "part of launching this new album" was not.

It turns out, though, that the ECU is only worried about the detail, and not the way that Bono's face loomed out of every screen and channel for what felt like three years:
Complaints about an edition of Jo Whiley (Radio 1, 27 February 2009) and a News Online report of the U2 concert on the roof of Broadcasting House were not upheld.

It's also worth pointing out that despite this blanket coverage and implied endorsement, U2 still only sold the record in disappointing quantities, so nobody came out of it well.

At the same time, the ECU has ticked off Radio 1 for providing links to ticket websites when promoting Coldplay gigs.

The complaints came from RadioCentre, the commercial radio body, who have probably ensured nothing like the U2 blitz will ever happen on the BBC again. Not quite sure if I ran a commercial radio station I'd be spending my time trying to make the BBC much more attractive, but it's quite generous of them.


Peter D said...

It won't happen again, unless you count the blanket coverage of the Selfridges sale across all news programmes on Boxing Day.

simon h b said...

I suppose at least they didn't put the Selfridges food hall in the atrium at White City and make Ken Bruce do his show from the ladies' changing room.

...Always next year, though.

Paul Wells said...

"U2 still only sold the record in disappointing quantities." Which goes to show that no amount of publicity can help a terminally bad album.

I've always had a theory that without their massive PR machine and Bono's big mouth, U2 album sales would have decreased steadily since 1992 at exactly the same rate as REM's...

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