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Harry Potter day on Radio 1 breached editorial standards

Programming amounted to commercial endorsement, says BBC management

A Harry Potter day on BBC Radio 1 breached the editorial standards relating to product prominence, by giving undue importance to the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the BBC Trust ruled on Thursday.

After the Potter-themed day on 15 July last year, the commercial radio trade body RadioCentre appealed to the trust, saying the radio station had resorted to promoting the movie.

The BBC management rejected the complaint twice, saying each individual programme had complied with editorial guidelines on commercial products.

However, it ruled that the timing of the coverage coincided with the film's release. The trust said the station's broadcast of 33 trails promoting the day, for 12-and-half hours across four programmes, amounted to a breach of editorial standards and endorsement of a commercial product.

The trust noted that sufficient care was not taken to "minimise product reference in output designed to appeal to children".