Fun Radio condemned for influencing audience figures

The group will have to pay 10.3 million euros for “unfair competition”.

Fun Radio was ordered to pay more than 10.3 million euros in damages for “unfair competition” after calling on his listeners to twist the audience figures, announced plaintiffs and condemned. The case, judged on Monday by the Paris Commercial Court, dates back to 2015 and 2016.

After a historic audience record according to Médiamétrie for Fun Radio in the first quarter of 2016 (7.5%, +0.8 points), its competitor NRJ went to court to denounce a fraudulent practice. It consisted of the station’s star host, Bruno Guillon, encouraging listeners to respond that they were listening to Fun Radio all day when they were contacted by a pollster. “Take ten minutes. Why? Because this person is going to ask you questions: what radio station did you listen to yesterday morning? You say Fun Radio. Hop! And afterwards, when you got home from work, what radio station did you listen to? I was listening to Fun Radio. And when you go to bed? I was listening to Fun Radio“, he explained for example.

“No intention to manipulate audience results”

These messages “had allowed Fun Radio to artificially increase its audiences, which had the effect of increasing its revenues to the detriment of the radios of the NRJ group in particular“, underlined NRJ in a press release Monday evening. Fun Radio, which belonged to RTL at the time and today to the M6 ​​group, considered that there was no fraud. These messages havewere pronounced without any intention of manipulating the audience results, in the wake of a market practice which was widespread in the radio market at the material time“, according to Fun Radio.

The station claims a dismissal of the criminal proceedings launched after a complaint from NRJ. In March 2022, notes Fun Radio, the investigating judge had concluded that these messages “pronounced in a humorous and spontaneous tonedid not fall under the law. After investigation, Médiamétrie had corrected the measurements of the first quarter of 2016, and had not included Fun Radio in that of the second quarter.

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