THE VAULT: Radio veteran details shonky insider secrets for Anonymous Confessions
A “commercial radio veteran” has revealed a series of dirty radio tricks in a guest post on The New Daily.
The article was written on the condition of anonymity and reveals the extent of dodgy behaviour that occurs in radio competitions across commercial stations, raising serious questions about the integrity and ethical standards of the industry.
Competitions involving secret sounds and prize giveaways were commonly rigged by announcers, who were generally under pressure from station management to cut costs.
“It’s all about the bottom line, and it’s the radio listener who suffers,” the radio veteran said on The New Daily.
According to the insider, big regional and metro networks frequently saved money by running one competition across several radio stations, particularly with “secret sounds”. They made a substantial financial gain selling advertising around these schemes, yet were reluctant to dig deep for competitions that were sold as being “local”.
“Prize Wheel” segments were also flagged. The insider claims to have been involved in on-air scams whereby the wheel would land on a major prize, only to have the announcer manipulate the result and issue a “$5 KFC voucher” to the contestant to keep the competition running.
In another instance at the same station, a competition involving a taxi company was a fraudulent ploy to encourage consumer spending on bogus raffle tickets.
The station even engaged “fake winners” who were commonly friends or relatives of employees to keep the competition dynamic, pre-recording the winning phone call and playing this to air as if they’d won the prize while discarding the valid tickets.
Criticisms were also made towards the Australian Communications and Media Authority for refusing to address the issues, even after stations have been pulled up for such practices.