August 8, 2022

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RTÉ has denied paying for a controversial award. he broadcaster said that a €2,000 payment...

RTÉ has denied paying for a controversial award.
he broadcaster said that a €2,000 payment for an ad was ‘to cover costs’ for the award-giver, Public Sector Magazine, after being notified of the prize by the publisher.
The award, for ‘outstanding service and essential broadcasting’, comes after Eir admitted that it paid for an ad linked to a customer services award from the same magazine.
“To be clear, there was no suggestion that if RTÉ didn’t advertise we would not receive the award,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster told the Irish Independent.
“It certainly wasn’t presented to us in those terms and RTÉ would not have supported it through an ad if that had been the case.”
However, other recipients of awards from the magazine have said they were told that payment for the ad was required to receive an award.
The joint owner of Dublin Crystal, Janet Taylor, told RTÉ’s Liveline programme on Tuesday that an award they were to receive from Public Sector Magazine was contingent on paying for an ad.
“We were told that we’d only get the award if we paid that [ad] money,” she told Liveline.
Last week, Alice Leahy of the Alice Leahy Trust homelessness charity told the Liveline programme that her organisation had been offered an award by the same magazine but that an ad was required to help pay for the cost of the awards process.
The HSE, another award-winner, released a statement saying it had also paid for an ad with the magazine, adding that it was an efficient way to raise awareness of health issues.
The ad placed by RTE was headlined: “Truth Matters”.
“In recognition of the award and in place of a physical awards event, RTÉ was offered a three-page total feature in the awards issue for €1,995 to purely cover the circulation, design and feature costs”, said a spokesperson for the broadcaster.
“As RTÉ was running a marketing campaign to support RTÉ News at the time, RTÉ included the ad as part of this campaign.”
The spokesperson added that the magazine claimed to have circulation of 75,000 physical print copies and 326,000 digital copies.
The spokesperson said that RTÉ has not yet seen the award, four months after the magazine first notified the broadcaster about it. The spokesperson said that the station only saw its two-page advertorial placement this week.
The placement of the RTÉ ad has drawn a sharp rebuke from one of the station’s most prolific broadcasters, Joe Duffy. Mr Duffy’s Liveline programme has interviewed several business owners who say said they were asked to pay for ad in exchange for getting an award from Public Sector Magazine. The radio programme has also asked questions about the circulation of the magazine.
Attempts to contact Public Sector Magazine, registered as a title of Dublin-based Devlin Media, were unsuccessful.

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