December 11, 2009
War: Stations battle over promotion idea

A war is brewing between two of this country’s premier radio stations over a Christmas marketing initiative.

Candice Sealey, Head of Sales & Marketing of SVG Broadcasting Corporation (SVGBC), has accused rival FM station, Hot 97.1, of copying its idea for the promotion ‘Doors to your destiny’, which is being run by Hitz FM and Ezee Radio, subsidiaries of SVGBC.{{more}}

The Sales and Marketing Manager claims ‘Doors to your Destiny’ has been in the planning stages for “quite some time” and “as such businesses have been contacted to be a part of it since the last week of October”.

Listeners have the opportunity to win daily prizes, as well as being selected for the December 21st Grand Draw, which affords them the opportunity to walk away with a ticket to a Caribbean destination, among many other prizes.

According to Sealey, the radio ads for the promotion have been running for weeks, whilst the announcers/DJs on both stations (Hitz and Ezee Radio) have been promoting it continuously on air. She added it was released in newspapers, as well as SVGTV news.

Sealey alleges that despite the promotion, Hot 97 launched the identical promotion on air the week of December 1st, with their call in beginning Friday, December 4th.

This claim has been denied by Luke Boyea, General Manager of Hot 97.1.

“I’ve never heard it,” said Boyea, adding: “I really don’t know how the two things happened. To me it’s relatively trivial.”

Boyea refuted the claim that Hot 97.1 has copied any promotion conceptualized by another radio station.

He counterclaimed by saying Sealey’s station has been copying initiatives designed by Hot 97.

“Since our inception they have been literally copying everything that we do. They tend to be poor imitators. In terms of results it has shown resoundingly they weren’t even in the top three. So it sounds like Hitz, as normal, is trying to make much ado about nothing,” said Boyea.

“I suspect, I don’t know if it is the truth, but I suspect that somewhere in the world someone was doing a promotion and one of our guys heard it and thought it is a good idea and one of their guys heard it and thought it was a good idea,” said Boyea.

He said he can prove Hot 97’s messages for this campaign was voiced in Canada in early November.

“They have copied everything in terms of shift structure. In terms of putting a DJ with an announcer. In terms of carnival campaigns, everything,” said Boyea, while stressing that Hot 97 has not complained.

“It’s a risk at the end of the day. I really don’t care,” Boyea sighed.

“It sounds like the girl Candice is just making a big issue of something trivial. It will remain trivial with the public. I don’t think the public care,” said Boyea.

He further stated: “We’re still number one and they will continue to struggle along. You only have to look at their line up. Their line up keeps changing every three or four months…they obviously have a lot of internal problems.

“I suspect Candice is under pressure because they are losing!”(HN)