A TV ad for an alcoholic drink was broadcast on Channel 5 on Sunday 30 June 2013 at approximately 11.25 am during a broadcast of 'Monkey Life'. The ad had been cleared by Clearcast with an 18 scheduling restriction.
One viewer challenged whether the ad had been inappropriately scheduled, because it had been shown during a programme likely to appeal to an audience below the age of 18.
Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd (Channel 5) said they had checked the available data for previous showings of Monkey Life in that slot in advance of transmission, which revealed an average index of 48 for children aged 10‒15 years. They said the episode shown on Sunday 30 June indexed at 22. They provided the indexing for the period of January 2013 to the date of broadcast and stated that, in the great majority of its screenings in 2013 on Channel 5, Monkey Life had indexed well below 120.
The ASA understood that Channel 5 was not a channel devoted to children's programmes. We noted that the scheduling of Monkey World followed a series of programmes aimed at children and was broadcast after Thundercats, a children’s animation. However, we noted that the programme after Monkey World was Big Brother, and that Channel 5 classed neither Monkey Life nor Big Brother as children’s programming or programmes with particular appeal to children. We therefore considered that it was appropriate to establish whether Monkey Life was a programme with 'particular appeal' to an audience below the age of 18.
We considered that a programme would have 'particular appeal' to an audience below the age of 18 if the 10 to 15 audience, indexed against the total audience of all individuals over four years old, produced an index of 120 or more.
We noted that Channel 5 described the show, as "a heart-warming series [set in Dorset's Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre] which follows the day-to-day dramas and personalities of over 240 monkeys, chimps, orang-utans and lesser apes living in one of the largest primate sanctuaries in the world". We therefore considered that Monkey Life was a programme that could appeal to under-18s and that forecasting using audience indexing was the appropriate means to determine whether the programme was likely to appeal to audiences below the age of 18.
We considered that using the average index of previous transmissions of the programme in similar time-slots, with particular regard to the most recent transmissions, was a reasonable way to forecast the likely audience for scheduling purposes. We noted that the indexing figures for Monkey Life provided by Channel 5 covered the period from January 2013 to August 2013 and understood the programme was generally broadcast on Tuesday evenings around 7 pm and on Sunday mornings around 11.15 am. We considered the indexing figures relating to the broadcasts of Monkey Life on Channel 5 on weekend mornings from 27 January 2013 to 30 June 2013 and noted that the average index for that period was 42 and that all broadcasts bar one had indexed below 120.
We noted that one broadcast, on Sunday 24 March 2013, showed an indexing of 125. However, in light of the indexing figures for broadcasts of Monkey Life at the relevant comparable times, which showed that the index was below 120 in all but one instance, we considered the data showed that the programme did not have 'particular appeal' to an audience below the age of 18 and concluded that the ad had not been scheduled in breach of the Code.
We investigated the scheduling of alcohol advertisements in episodes of Monkey World between 11 and 11.30am on weekend mornings on Channel 5 under BCAP Code rule 32.2.1 32.2.1 alcoholic drinks containing 1.2% alcohol or more by volume (see rule 32.4.7) (Scheduling of Television and Radio Advertisements) but did not find it in breach.
No further action necessary.