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Feedback: Radio and pluggers

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Roger Bolton Roger Bolton 18:00, Friday, 24 February 2012

Roger Bolton

Feedback's presenter Roger Bolton

George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has been called many things, not least by gay couples who want to get married and who find in Dr Carey an implacable opponent.

This week, however, he was outed as a plugger.

One Feedback listener claims to have heard him mention his new book thirteen times in 20 broadcast minutes on the Today programme and Radio 2.

Mind you I don't think everyone would have noticed because by now we are inured to plugs.

The BBC would once have banned such references and still says it has strict controls on the promotion of products but many feel those controls are flexibly interpreted, particularly in television.

Is there a guest on the Graham Norton Show for example who doesn't have something to sell?

One can understand the dilemma.

Madonna offers you the first sight of her new record and an exclusive interview if... Indeed in some cases artists will forgo fees in favour of a promotional spot.

BBC Radio is particularly vulnerable since it has so many hours of programmes to fill and relatively little money or no money to offer potential guests.

I wish that the plugs could be formalised in the credits of programmes and banned in any other part of them.

On the other hand I supposed this blog is a sort of extended plug for Feedback. So I'd better just shut up and let you get on with listening to it.

By the way, thanks for listening and do feel free to write to us about anything you have heard on any BBC radio station.

Roger Bolton presents Feedback


  • Comment number 1.

    I cannot see an autograph on the photo but as long as it is kept in the bedroom visitors are less likely to suffer existential angst and crises of identity!

    If I recall correctly, Feedback examined a similar issue some time ago when Cherie Blair plugged her book on Woman's Hour. The practice is commonplace on radio and like many listeners to Feedback I would prefer that it did not happen. I do not object to the guest making a reasonable number of references to his or her book, but it seems that Carey was too much of a salesman. As a former archbishop he will understand more than most the importance of hammering home a message, no matter how objectionable.

    Roger's suggestion of formalising the plugs in the credits at the end of the programme would suit me, but would it suit writers and their agents?


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