Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)

Abstract

The Irresponsible Self-Regulation of Media in Spain: High-Grade Alcoholic Beverage Advertising in Sports Radio Programmes

Author(s): Clara Muela-Molina, Luis M. Romero-Rodriguez, Ana Garcia-Arranz

Media must behave ethically towards their audiences since the latter play a fundamental role in shaping reality and public opinion. In this sense, the conduct of all media must be based on social responsibility, with ethical values and in compliance with laws and regulations. The present study analyses the presence of advertising for high-alcoholic-content beverages in sports programs through mentions by the host radio stations or collaborators, taking into consideration that the European directive, as well as Spanish legislation, prohibits the broadcasting of this type of advertising through audio-visual media (television and radio) channels, particularly in sports programs. To this purpose, three stations have been selected for analysis (COPE, Cadena Ser and Onda Cero) according to their daily audience numbers as reported by the General Media Study (a total of 9,000,000 daily listeners). The study was carried out between January and December 2017. A total of 355 mentions of high-alcoholic-content beverages were found, being the figure of the host radio the one that made more this type of advertising. Likewise, this research shows that most mentions of alcoholic beverages occurred in the afternoon (16:00–19:59), with rum (55.8%) and herb liqueurs (36.6%) being the most frequently advertised. It is also important to note that COPE, a radio station that has been sanctioned by the Spanish CNMV for this type of advertising, is precisely the radio station that has the highest frequency of alcoholic beverage advertising in this study (91.8%), which is evidence of the failure of the media self-regulation system in Spain.