ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 84-300

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Ottawa, 29 March 1984
Decision CRTC 84-300
Radio Communautaire FM de la Haute-Gatineau Inc.
Maniwaki, Quebec - 831542600
At a Public Hearing in Hull, Quebec on 13 December 1983, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission considered an application to amend the broadcasting licence for CHGA-MF Maniwaki by deleting the existing condition of licence pertaining to the broadcasting of restricted advertising and substituting therefor the revised condition of licence described in the Policy statement on the Review of Radio dated 3 March 1983.
Having received several complaints concerning the advertising practices of CHGA-MF, the Commission conducted analyses in 1983 of the advertising content of this station's programming which revealed that these complaints were valid. An analysis conducted in May 1983 showed that the licensee had broadcast unauthorized advertising messages of a commercial nature.
At a meeting in July 1983, the licensee agreed to remedy the situation and file a report with the Commission. This report, submitted on 9 August 1983, described the assignment of one person to traffic and the establishment of an advertisement writing committee, and the licensee's commitment to make [TRANSLATION] "every effort necessary to bring our station up to standard". A RAP (Radio Performance Assessment) analysis conducted at the end of August 1983, however, showed that unauthorized commercial messages were still being broadcast by the station.
When this application was published in Public Notice CRTC 1983-148 dated 13 July 1983, the Commission received an intervention from Radio CKMG Inc., licensee of the commercial station CKMG Maniwaki, opposing the application by alleging that its approval would authorize the licensee to engage in additional commercial activity that would place it in direct competition with the intervener's station. Following persistent non-compliance problems and the intervention noted above, the application was placed on the agenda of the 13 December 1983 hearing.
Radio CKMG Inc. intervened at this hearing jointly with the Association canadienne de la Radio et de la Télévision de langue française Inc. in opposition to the application. The interveners claimed that approval of this application, coupled with the unauthorized commercial activities of the licensee, [TRANSLATION] "would affect the low percentage of advertising budgets devoted normally to private commercial radio by regional and even national advertisers". The Commission also notes the intervention by the Association des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires du Québec in support of this application.
The Commission acknowledges that the licensee is in financial difficulty, and considers that approval of the revised condition of licence on restricted advertising will give the licensee more flexibility and should enable it to generate more advertising revenues while complying with Commission's policies. Accordingly, it approves the proposal to delete the existing condition of licence concerning the broadcasting of restricted advertising and substitute therefor the condition of licence described below.
As outlined in the Policy statement on the Review of Radio dated 3 March 1983 (Public Notice CRTC 1983-43) the Commission authorizes the licensee, as a condition of licence, to broadcast a maximum of 4 minutes per hour of restricted advertising. In line with the definition in this statement as to what constitutes restricted advertising, the licensee is authorized to broadcast simple statements of sponsorship which identify the sponsors of a program or of the station. Such statements may incorporate the name of the sponsor, the business address, hours of business, and a brief general description of the types of services or products which the sponsor provides, including the price, name and brand name of the product. These statements must not contain language which attempts to persuade consumers to purchase and thus must not contain references to convenience, durability or desirability or contain other comparative or competitive references.
The Commission will also allow the station to accept payment for classified advertisements on behalf of individuals and for informational messages on behalf of organizations engaged in community affairs and activities of a non-profit nature.
The Commission reminds the licensee that it is required to derive most of these revenues from sponsors in the area it is licensed to serve and will not be permitted to use pre-produced national advertising messages.
However, the Commission is concerned that the licensee is not in compliance with its condition of licence concerning the broadcasting of restricted advertising, despite many warnings issued by the Commission and its previous commitments to comply with this condition of licence. In this respect, it reminds the licensee that in Decision CRTC 82-860 dated 17 September 1982, "the Commission concluded that this condition of licence had been contravened and also required the licensee to comply with the condition of licence authorizing it to broadcast restricted advertising only".
The Commission reminds the licensee that CHGA-MF is a community radio station and must be operated as such, notwithstanding the financial constraints that the licensee may face. When requested during the hearing to make a formal commitment to comply with the new definition of restricted advertising, the licensee stated: [TRANSLATION] "Of course, we are prepared to commit ourselves ... we can state that we will do our utmost to remain within the framework and comply with the directives of the CRTC". The licensee is therefore required to cease immediately the broadcasting of any advertising other than that authorized herein. Failure by the licensee to comply fully with the requirements of this decision, the conditions of its licence, and the Broadcasting Act and Regulations could jeopardize the renewal of its licence. The Commission intends to review this matter further with the licensee at the renewal of its licence which expires 30 September 1984.
J.G. Patenaude Secretary General

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