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RTE 'at behest' of car firm

RTE was accused yesterday of being "at the behest" of Renault after the station dropped a television road safety advertisement following complaints from Renault managing director Bill Cullen.

The claim was made in the Seanad by Senator Feargal Quinn, who called on the Government to find out the exact circumstances surrounding the decision. He also noted The Late Late Show is sponsored by Renault.

The advertisement, featuring a mother and child being mown down by a Renault Megane, was yesterday being edited to make the car less identifiable.

Sponsor AXA Insurance said it was astounded at the decision, revealed in yesterday's Irish Independent.

A spokesman for AXA said they were "saddened" by the development.

RTE insisted yesterday it responded to Renault's complaint "in the same way it would respond to any other such complaint" and said it did not treat the firm differently "simply because Renault is a programme sponsor".

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