Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Dear DStv subscribers,
Jodi Arias the show off  killer
          It seems that DStv, the pay television arm of Multichoice that has tarnished its reputation with so many repeats is not at all bothered about damaging it still further by continuing to make out that programmes are new when they are not.
This is in spite the fact that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has told it to stop fabricating promotional material on more than one occasion.         
          It again shows how toothless the ASA is. It was established by the adverting industry as its internal policeman and had to be placed under business rescue two years ago. Now it doesn’t appear to be able to ensure that transgressions it has ruled against do not go on being repeated in similar forms by the same firm.  
          In the last few weeks DStv has been extensively promoting “Jodi Arias from Lust to Murder. All new Tuesday 10 April” on the Investigation Discovery (ID) channel. And when I complained that this was not new as I had seen it on DStv before I got this reply from Alet Bensch, MultiChoice’s Content Bouquet Manager.
Alet Bensch

          “I can confirm this is a brand new series, although the subject matter has been dealt with in other programmes previously, and a film called ‘Lust to Murder - Jodi Arias’ was aired on another channel last month. But no promos for the film were aired.”
          In my email reply to her I stated: “I don’t accept your explanation that this is a ‘brand new series.’ It can hardly be ‘all new’ (my underlining) when by your own admission it is not.
          “This is the kind of dishonesty that the Advertising Standards Authority told DStv to stop doing, isn’t it?
          “If I tell you a marginally different version of a story you have already heard does that make my story ‘all new’?
          “DStv’s ‘all new’ promotions have now been totally discredited because once one of them is found to be a lie how can your company expect anybody to believe anything else it claims?”

          She justified it still further by replying: “The series is indeed 100% new. None of theses episodes have aired, therefore they are ‘new’ if they have not aired before even though the subject matter was covered on other channels.”
          Significantly she was now referring to it as ‘new’ rather than ‘all new.’ And she ended her email with this most telling remark: “We are not promoting the topic as new - only the programming.”
          I then told her: “Sorry Alet that’s just splitting hairs to say ‘We are not promoting the topic as new - only the programming.’ How is the average person supposed to know that? Surely they are only interested in the topic not your programming. I bet if you took a survey among viewers and asked them what they thought the description ‘all new’ means they would say it means that it was something that was completely new that had not been shown on DStv before or some people might even go as far as believing that this meant it had never been aired anywhere else before.
“Whichever way you look at it this kind of thing has a touch of dishonesty about it. This is what con men do – they make something out to be far better than it actually is and I can’t understand why DStv has to resort to this sort of promotion when it virtually has a monopoly of paid TV in South Africa.”
I wonder how many people at DStv watch their own shows because late on the night of Thursday April 12 the promo for the Jodi series kept stating it would begin on Tuesday which was the10th of April, when it did actually start. This was shown repeatedly throughout the evening. Then shortly before midnight what I assume was a repeat of the first episode of the series was shown to add to the confusion of viewers.
Jodi murdered her boyfriend in 2008 by stabbing him 20 times while he was in the shower. Described as one of the most bizarre and salacious trials in American history it did not end until 2013 when she was convicted of first degree murder. She is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
DStv evidently believes that promoting just about everything as ‘all new,’ ‘brand new” or ‘new’ is the way to get people watching. Here’s a sample from the ID channel in addition to the Jodi Arias one – All new Bride Killa; All new Home Alone; New series Murder Chose me and The 1980s the Deadly Decade The new Series.
And then there is the Brand New Shifting Gears on the Discovery channel.
          I don’t know how true these statements are, but isn’t it shooting itself in the foot if this way of promoting shows is not believable?
          Just a couple of months ago the ASA slammed it in a ruling that reflected badly on MultiChoice.
          “One would not expect the label ‘brand new’ to be applied to a show that has been available in South Africa since 2013,” it stated.
          MultiChoice can hardly be “enriching lives” as it claims if its morality sinks to this level.
          The ASA found that the claim that “Mom 3 brand new season. Tuesday on Comedy Central” was misleading. This was the ASA’s wishy, washy way of saying it was not true. MultiChoice was ordered to withdraw the claim that this was new.
          Its pathetic defence was that even though Mom had previously been on DStv’s 101 channel it was new to Comedy Central (122).
          MultiChoice also got into hot water with the ASA for claiming there were 1800 movies a month available on DStv. It was told to provide the ASA with substantiation for its claim from an independent auditor.
DStv got so mixed up trying to justify that 1800 films
 a month story that it couldn't even count properly.
This is from the Business Report
          It’s not easy to find somebody else to vouch for your lies, so the ASA never received anything further from this entertainment company.
          The consumer’s complaint was upheld and MultiChoice was ordered to withdraw the claim.
          Jon, a Consumer Watchdog, who doesn’t appreciate paying higher and higher DStv subscriptions if he can’t be sure that what he is being told about the shows, is true.

P.S. This may not be an ‘all new’ post of mine but I doubt that you will have read anything like it before - on my blog.

Note: Before I posted this I sent a copy to Calvo Mawelo DStv’s CEO, who I originally contacted. I invited him to comment or to make factual corrections if necessary. He merely suggested we have a meeting to discuss this, a suggestion I felt would not take the matter any further.

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