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Friday 22 August 2014

'Why play with the knob?' - Radio station defends knowing ad campaign following shock jock Prendeville's departure

Denise Calnan

Published 25/03/2014 | 12:25

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Barry Egan talks to Neil Prendeville who has no recollection of commiting an indescretion on an aeroplane.
Photo: Tony Gavin 5/11/10
Neil Prendeville

Fans of Cork DJ Neil Prendeville have described the jock’s former employer’s latest ad campaign as ‘nasty’.

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“Why play with the knob?” 96FM’s new campaign asks as Prendeville is set to begin a new show with rival station RedFM within a week.

The campaign hints at an incident in October 2009 when Prendeville exposed himself on a flight.

“I’m very disappointed in your station’s bad taste – nasty,” one listener wrote on 96FM’s Facebook page.

“Not nice,” another wrote, “Thought 96FM were better than this! Hitting an all-time low.”

Another wrote; “Disgusted with your new tagline. Goodbye 96fm. You've lost me.”

Corkman Prendeville said he found the ad campaign ‘upsetting’.

“I haven’t seen it and I don’t want to see it,” he told the Irish Daily Star.

“I find it very upsetting because I had to work very hard to move on from that period in my life.

“And I’m really, really disappointed that they would do this.”

A representative for the Cork radio station told independent.ie he was surprised at the interpretation.

“I apoogise if it’s caused any offence to Neil. I’m surprised and genuinely upset,” Programme Director at the 96fm Kieran McGeary told independent.ie.

“It wasn’t our intention to have a swipe at Neil. We wanted to get the message across not to ‘move the dial’ but Newstalk had already used the expression.”

Mr McGeary said the irony was not intentional.

“I am not in the business to be taking swipes at Neil. We said we were disappointed when he announced he was leaving, but we wished him the best and we left each other amicably.

McGeary said there are no plans to change the advertising campaign.

“I’m not sure what can be gained from changing anything,” he said.

“Clearly what has happened is the ad has been interpreted differently to what was meant. I think anything more will just add fuel to the fire.”

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