Independent radio station Boom Radio has banned Jim Davidson’s Ustreme from advertising – telling fans who complained that it “has a responsibility to listeners” and is licensed in terms of “taste, decency and due impartiality”.
The DAB and online station was set up during Covid and is aimed at the “baby boomer generation” born between 1946 and 1964.
But despite sharing a similar target audience, Ustreme – which shows comedy specials from a host of legends including Jethro and Freddie Starr as well as a host of up-and-coming comics from across the political spectrum – has been told it can not advertise with the station.
Ustreme founder Jim Davidson said: “It’s a really sad state of affairs that a radio station aimed at the same demographic would refuse our advertising money.
“What world do we live in where companies can stop people even listening to an advert about a comedy channel they might like? Would people really get that offended? I wouldn’t think the baby boomer generation needs protecting from an advert by us! The ad doesn’t even feature any material or jokes, it just tells people some of the comedians we feature and where to find us.
“We are living in very strange times. The initial talks were great then one person somewhere in planning gets to make the decision to ban us from advertising. This woke world is out of control.
“We need to put an end to this cancel culture and anonymous people having the power to stop companies promoting and reaching new audiences, just because they might not like the product themselves – or think they won’t.”
Although Boom Radio did not give Ustreme a reason for turning down advertising money, fans reached out to the station to find out why it would make such a decision.
In response to one fan, the radio station said: “We understand the strength of your views, which are noted.
“Our responsibility is to our listeners at large – and, as in life, each of those will have a different perspective on this issue. It is never easy to please everyone with any editorial decision. Some listeners will agree with your view – others will very definitely not.
“We are a licensed and regulated broadcaster in terms of taste and decency and due impartiality. The channel you wish to be promoted is proudly unregulated and is entitled to be so – and those who seek to see the content may subscribe.
“Although Boom has been highlighted, you may not be aware that we are certainly not the only radio/TV station to have taken this view on this campaign.
“Decisions on what song to play, what words to use, what commercials to air are all subjective and often challenging ones. We seek to strike the right balance – in context – for each one.
“We have cancelled no-one. His channel has the freedom to broadcast its free speech. By the same token, we hope we are allowed the freedom to choose not to broadcast these advertisements in the commercial airtime we have, which we choose to keep at low levels.
“Rest assured our team includes a healthy representation of all manner of people within our older demographic – with all manner of views. We are all boomers.
“As you are aware, Boom is a small independent radio station – not part of any large organisation. A group of retired old friends with a dream – taking a risk – and working many hours each day to try to create a very different radio offering.”