Complaint to the BBC re: Doctor Who

April 24th, 2010 by Richy B. Leave a reply »
What were they thinking? #doctorwho #geekrage #bbcfail on Twitpic
Image from @fullmetalannie

For the first time in my life, I have just sent a letter of complaint to the BBC. Why? Well, during the climax of the episode of Doctor Who they had an on screen advert in bright yellow (the scene was set in a dark cave).

If you saw this and want to complain, you can do so via https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/. My complaint is at the bottom

Clip via DoctorWhoDomc. Contains spoilers

Other complaints which have been sent include ones from:

  • @denofgeek (text of complaint)
  • @katybairstow (text of complaint)
  • @ODSeanT “Animated Graham Norton ruined what was otherwise an excellent episode of #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @mightyhorse82 “BBC your inscreen ad for OverTheRainbow at the end of #DoctorWho just makes me even less likely to watch that f…. bilge” (Source)
  • @capricorn_one “WHAT THE F… WAS THAT??? I’m refering to that on screen banner for the next show at the end of Dr Who #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @richardpmilner “#bbc, don’t put a Graham Norton avatar/banner over the top of #doctorwho at the dramatically climactic moment. Away with your rainbow vomit.” (Source)
  • @stewart_Paske “#BBC1 shouldn’t compromise the dramatic integrity of #DoctorWho by splashing Graham Norton over the pivotal scene. #GetGrahamOutOfMyTardis” (Source)
  • @kaleidoscope27 “What the hell was that cartoon Graham Norton doing tainting my #DoctorWho?” (Source)
  • @pressfuturist “Am currently using the BBC complaint form to do my whyohwhyohwhy about GrahamNorton on #doctorwho http://bit.ly/78qXs (via @FullMetalAnnie )” (Source)
  • @nissemus “The way the Beeb ruined the end of #DoctorWho is proof that British TV is now being run by marketing morons rather than broadcasters.” (Source)
  • @simquayle “I am gratified that I was joined by most of Britain in a chorus of “What the… Get off my telly!” at the #Dorothy trail in #DoctorWho” (Source)
  • @fechtbuch “Tweet #bbcfail if you hated the yellow onscreen banner during the “one thing you don’t put in a trap…” speech. #doctorwho” (Source)
  • @drandreq “Why the f… is there a tiny Graham Norton dancing at the bottom of the screen? #doctorwho” (Source)
  • Daryl Millar: “The In-Programme Pointer for ‘Over The Rainbow’ during an incredibly tense ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger was completely unacceptable. If you hate them too, I urge you to submit a complaint to the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/. If the BBC believe they can get away with it, I am certain that these banners will pop up during the episode every single week.” (Source)
  • “G G”: “The In-Programme Pointer for ‘Over The Rainbow’ during an incredibly tense ‘Doctor Who’ cliffhanger was completely unacceptable. All week we’ve had a preview scene of the Doctor doing a dramatic ‘you don’t want to trap me’ speech, a very tense moment in the show, which is going to end on a cliffhanger, at that very moment a reminder of the show coming on straight after Dr Who appeared on the screen. What was that all about? The tension had built up nicely in the show, one of the better episodes of late too, then this daft cartoon appears advertising Graham Norton’s show. We know what is on next, and would have found out in a few seconds anyway. Why do you treat us like idiots?” (Source)
  • Owen Blacker: “Dear Aunty, Using on-screen graphics to trail the next programme detracts from the programme one is watching, particularly when it a suspenseful scene in something like Doctor Who and when the DOG is animated. Please avoid using on-screen trailer graphics during primetime shows, especially when that show is likely to be generating a mood of suspense or anticipation that is destroyed by a moving graphic advertising another programme 15 seconds before the end of the closing scene of a two-part drama. The credits are a perfect opportunity to trail programmes about to start on the BBC channels, where graphics (animated or otherwise) will not detract from viewers’ enjoyment of the show they actually tuned in to watch. Yours, very disappointed” (Source: Facebook)
  • Facebook group

If you’ve complained, please let me know in the comments (if you’ve got a copy of the complaint then even better) so we can keep track of a rough number of them.

(From what I’ve heard from others, this advertisement was on only the standard BBC One Channel (not HD) and only on the non-Scottish regions)

Here’s the text of the letter I sent:

I wish to complain about the advert the BBC put near the end of the Doctor Who episode “Time of Angels”. This advert was around 1/6th of screen at the bottom for the following show “Over the Rainbow”. My reasons for complaint are:

* Didn’t fit with the scene. The episode was setting up the cliff hanger for the next episode of one of your flagship programs and hence had tension building and was set in the dark. Therefore a bright yellow banner advertisement was extremely off putting.

* Distracting. Bright yellow animated advertisement – why?

* Different viewership. I doubt there is a high level of overlap between your high viewership (8million views as started in the Doctor Who introduction) “sci-fi” show and yet another reality show (maximum peak viewership of 7million) which has already been branded as blatant commercial advertising for Andrew Lloyd-Webbers musicals.

* High levels of promotion. Not only did you interrupt Doctor Who for this advertisement for a show you advertised before Doctor Who started (which started 5 minutes after its advertised start time!), but then during the end credits you advertised/promoted the show again!

* Un-prime channel advertising. I have only seen this sort of advertising on non-prime channels (such as BBC Three) – I had yet to see this on any of the “mainstream/prime channels” (BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV, C4, Five – even Sky One): so to first see if on the BBC on one of their highest rated shows is shocking.

* Deterioration of programme quality. The “iPod Coloured Daleks” from the Doctor Who “Victory Of The Daleks” was quite off putting as they appear to have just been multi-coloured for merchandising, but then to have the next episode of Doctor Who interrupted in the cliffhanger for another promotion was even worse. Can we expect next episode to have a 30 second commercial break asking us to buy the Daleks from our nearest shop and whilst there buy tickets for Lloyd-Webber’s latest musical?

Please please please do not repeat this sort of advertising/promotion. Our household watches less than 6 hours of television a week (consisting of Doctor Who, Doctor Who Confidential, Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, and a couple of smaller shows) and I do really like the BBC. If the advertising is repeated, I will have to reconsider not only paying for my Sky TV Subscription (which provides me with BBC 3) but also my TV licence fee.

I do like the BBC and think it should be supported, but if you become over commercialised and focus on viewership and “cross-promotion” instead of high quality programming (some of us can still remember your “You help make the BBC what it is due to the unique way we are funded” adverts), then I fail to see why I should continue funding it.

Yours,

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

9 comments

  1. T says:

    I complained also. Absolutely disgusted. Completely jarring and very rude to all involved in the programme.

  2. T says:

    Also want to say that your complaint is excellent. I told the lady on the phone (number 03700100222) it was like scrawling over a piece of artwork stating “go check out this picture”.

    Just a point about IPP (in-programme placement as I think they call it) ITV did it with Vera’s death in Corrie. A big yellow banner appeared across her forehead just as Jack was crying as he realised she died giving an advert for the next programme which, as I recall, was Britain’s Got Talent (although happy to be corrected if wrong). I complained then also to no avail as I have seen it plenty of times since on ITV and no longer watch the channel.

  3. john fraser says:

    Phoned and got brush off (didn’t ask for my name or number but admitted that the phone lines had gone into meltdown and that she had taken nothing but Dr Who calls for last 45 mins

    After registering on phone, also complained via web

  4. Rob says:

    Yup, made me log my first BBC complaint. Terrible. How would you react if they did this at the climax of a film at your local Odeon? Nice chat with the manager and money back. Typical BBC – greater interest in self-promotion than respecting its customers. Complaint logged as follows:
    “During the 2th April episode of Doctor Who on BBC1, a large advertising graphic for the following programme, “Over The Rainbow”, was displayed across the screen. The large, brightly coloured graphic was displayed at the dramatic climax of the episode in an intrusive position on the screen (across the Doctor’s face). This totally ruined the dramatic effect of the end of the most tense episode thus far this series. I find it disappointing that the BBC sees fit to give greater importance to self-advertising than it does to giving its viewers the best possible presentation of a flagship programme. If my local Odeon ran an advert across the end of a film I would demand my money back. Please don’t do this again.”

  5. Betty says:

    How much are all these new animated ADVERTISEMENTS costing us then? That is something I would like to be known.
    Pointless.

  6. Richy C. says:

    The BBC has responded to my complaint to them:

    Thank you for your e-mail.

    The ‘Over the Rainbow’ trail in ‘Doctor Who’ should not have played out on Saturday and we apologise to all ‘Doctor Who’ fans whose enjoyment of the show was disrupted. We recognise the strength of feeling that has been expressed and are taking steps to ensure that this mistake will not happen again.

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact us with your concerns.

    Regards

    BBC Complaints

  7. Alena 1968 says:

    Just a point about IPP (in-programme placement as I think they call it) ITV did it with Vera’s death in Corrie. A big yellow banner appeared across her forehead just as Jack was crying as he realised she died giving an advert for the next programme which, as I recall, was Britain’s Got Talent (although happy to be corrected if wrong). I complained then also to no avail as I have seen it plenty of times since on ITV and no longer watch the channel.

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