Journal ordered to pay up for contest failure


FCCThe failure of Journa’s KJOT-FM Boise: To accurately and completely inform the audience as to the nature of the prizes in a contest to a complete garage makeover, nor to accurately describe the path to victory. The FCC upheld a fine over the station’s request for cancellation or reduction.

In a nutshell, contestants were not aware that there would be only one winner – although 105 qualified for a shot at winning – nor were they made aware of what the prizes were or what their value was.

Part of the problem was the fact that live read contest announcements and recorded announcements were unclear as to the rules, and only a few of them referred listeners to the station’s website for a full description of the contest rules and rewards.

Additionally, there was a factual problem – some announcements led listeners to believe that a Honda Accord was in the mix of winnings; others, a Honda Civic, which was accurate. In no case was the fact that it was a used car – a 2001 model given to the winner of a contest held in 2008.

The FCC noted that an accurate list of prizes was not available on the screenshots it was given as evidence of the rules posting.

At the end of the day, the FCC had no problem determining that there were more than enough problems to warrant allowing the $4K fine against the stations to stand. It is now the bottom line number of a forfeiture order.