The management of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) recently expressed its regrets and reservations over the rejection of the station’s promotional jingles and adverts by two private radio stations in Ibadan, Splash 105.5 and Fresh 105.9 FM stations.

This was contained in separate letters sent to the management of the two radio stations and signed by the executive chairman of the BCOS, Prince Dotun Oyelade.

The BCOS management said it was pained over the reluctance of Splash FM and Fresh FM to, at least, look beyond the issues of contention and trade rivalry.

The letter further stated, “the belief of the BCOS in professional comradeship beyond contest and competition spurred the management to approach the two highly esteemed private stations for space on their airwaves to promote the series of new innovations at the BCOS for the public good.”

The letter noted that “working for the public good in such case, ought to be the common goal shared by BCOS, Splash FM and Fresh FM,” adding, “BCOS would in good conscience willingly broadcast similar jingles or adverts coming from the two private stations.

While acknowledging the fact that NBC rules and guidelines do not stipulate any compulsion in this matter, “we, however, appeal to the two stations for a reconsideration of their stand in the spirit of broadcast solidarity.”

Speaking with The Guardian, the Director of Commercial Service of the station, Mr. Peter Ajayi, said: “I took the same jingle to Inspiration FM. Inspiration FM did its own.

“The Fresh FM said it was not favourably disposed to it. When I met the chairman, Yinka Ayefele, he said he would discuss with his Marketing Director, asking me to link up with him that he would give me the answer. I did but up till now, he has not linked up with me, claiming that they are meeting on it. Until later I felt they are not ready for it.

“The booking was done on July 15, 2020, for Splash and Fresh FM. A week later I met Mr. Yinka Ayefele. He referred me to the marketing director. He said they were considering it. They never did. At Splash FM, the Head of Marketing was favourably disposed to it and I paid. But after transmission for two days, he called me, saying the management had met and decided that they were not going to continue using the advert. The advert is just to promote our 24-hour transmission. The Splash FM returned our balance.

“My message is this, in this digital age, if we look at our channel, you see all other channels being promoted on our TV channel. Good programmes drive the market now. It doesn’t matter whether you promote it in 20 places, people will listen to your programmes. So, that is what I expected that now in the digital age, channels are promoted inside one another.”

Reacting, the Fresh FM’s Director Corporate Affairs, Mr. David Ajiboye, said: “It is true and I think we have the right to use whatever commercials or turn down any commercial that we feel wouldn’t be good to the company’s image. Let’s look at it this way, have you ever seen BBC or CNN placing an advert on VOA? We are in the same business marketing the same product. Had it been they want to do an event and they want us to give them media support for that, easily we can go ahead and do that. If they have brought any jingle of any programme they want to do, we would do for them free. But we are in the same market, with the same purpose to educate and inform the people and to get market share. You are now coming over in order to leverage our mileage. When we first got it, we asked ourselves why do we want to do this? Is it because of money?

“It’s like you’re selling rice and you have another person selling the same product you’re selling, the person now brings his signboard to place it in front of your shop. What does that portray? We are not fighting anybody. We are not against Prince Dotun Oyelade. He is a respected veteran in the business. He’s someone our chairman holds in high esteem. We didn’t just get to this level in a day. They should go and re-strategise”.

Mr. Tunde Lawuwo, who spoke on behalf of Splash FM, said: “It is a non-issue for the station and management. There is nothing newsworthy about it as far as we are concerned.”

Mr. Muyiwa Apara, a veteran journalist, said: “BCOS should develop its content in order to get a quality audience and credibility it deserves. It’s wrong for it to scamper for the validation of the radio stations that came into existence after it.. If it develops its contents conscientiously, it’s possible for it to regain its lost credibility and quality audience.”

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