Contest with Sexual Theme Not In Violation of Broadcast Standards, Says Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

Ottawa, March 18, 2003 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning segments on CFRQ-FM's (Q104, Halifax) morning show. On July 31, 2002, the station's morning show hosts held a contest which encouraged listeners to call in and fake an orgasm on the air to win a prize. The CBSC Atlantic Regional Panel concluded that the segments were not sexually explicit and thus not in breach of any broadcaster Code.

The idea for the contest apparently arose because of the hosts' report that it was “Second Annual National Orgasm Day”. After providing the statistic that 80% of women fake orgasms, the hosts invited listeners to call in and fake an orgasm on the air. The hosts took three calls, two from men and one from a woman. All of the callers provided a comedic element to their presentations, such as baa-ing like a sheep and using a literal French translation out of context.

The CBSC received a complaint from a listener who felt that the content was not acceptable for morning radio because children could be listening. The Atlantic Panel examined the complaint under the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics. The Panel noted that the CBSC has determined that sexually explicit material broadcast on morning radio will be considered in violation of the Code, but that sexually suggestive content or innuendo will not be considered problematic. The Panel concluded that the “faking orgasm” segments broadcast on Q104 were not sexually explicit. The Panel made the following comments:

In the present case the Atlantic Panel finds that there was no explicitness involved. In the first place, the term “fake” was used repeatedly. Not only was there no suggestion of reality, but there was also no detail or description of an explicit sexual act. All the callers seemed to be providing their own take on the sexual silliness that characterized the “contest”. At worst, the Panel finds that the material may be juvenile, tasteless or inappropriate, but there is nothing about the content that moves it from the inappropriate to the unacceptable. In other words, even if children might have been listening (and the station's demographics do not suggest that this might have been the case), the subject matter would not have presented a problem. The Panel finds no breach of the […] CAB Code of Ethics here.

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All CBSC decisions, Codes, links to members' and other web sites, and related information are available on the CBSC's website at www.cbsc.ca. For more information, please contact the CBSC National Chair, Mme Andrée Noël CBSC Executive Director, John MacNab