Friday 24 May 2019

'Can it be removed from Liveline?' - Joe Duffy hits out at 'atrocious' ad but RTÉ won't say if it will be pulled

Joe Duffy
Joe Duffy
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTÉ has declined to say if they will pull an ad from Liveline after presenter Joe Duffy branded it “atrocious” and it sparked a string of complaints.

The Choose Radio campaign was jointly developed by RTÉ and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland in a bid to encourage companies to invest their marketing budgets into radio advertising. 

But the campaign’s most recent radio ad hit a bum note with one of RTE’s best-known broadcasters with Duffy expressing his disapproval during his live radio programme. 

The short ad centres around a man describing meeting his father-in-law in the gym but when he gives him a wave in the changing room, his towel falls down and “you see everything, in all its sweaty glory.” 

“Sticks in your head, doesn’t it? And they say radio isn’t visual. Don’t under-estimate the power or a radio ad. Choose Radio,” it adds. 

Describing his distaste for the ad, which has received eight complaints so far, Joe said that he was “never allowed comment on ads – I'm always warned.”

“I did it once in my early days but that ad is atrocious. Can it be removed from Liveline? I’m serious,” he told listeners.

He said that same ad was played down in Tralee while they were doing a live broadcast of Funny Friday and the audience present “visibly groaned.”

“It is a completely distasteful advert for radio,” he said.

“That image that whoever is trying to portray is an image you will remember because it is so revolting; your naked father-in-law bending over in a gym.

“Give us a break. Can it be removed please? I’ll probably be removed before that’s removed. But can it be removed, please?”

Asked if they would be pulling the ad in question, an RTE spokesperson said “no comment.”

However, she said that the ad would come to a natural end tomorrow.

RTÉ has received a total of eight complaints in the form of calls and emails to its Information Unit.

The Choose Radio initiative started in 2008 in a bid to encourage increase advertisers' annual investment in radio. 

The ad in question was made by the Choose Radio Committee and played over more than 30 different radio stations including RTÉ Radio.

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