An advert promoting wind energy has been deemed unlawful by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland following a complaint.
The advert, 'Power to Power Ourselves' aired last January and February. In it, a speech from John F Kennedy implores the "smaller nations of the world to fulfil their obligations to the world", with the former US president's words playing over clips of factories and wind turbines. A message at the end of the advert asks:
"Why do we import 85% of Ireland's energy needs, producing only 15% domestically[?]"
RTÉ and TV3 have both apologised for airing the advert, and aired apologies on their respective channels as well.
In its apology, TV3 noted that the complainant had stated that "the advert, which promoted wind and renewable energy, was directed towards a political end, contrary to the requirements of the Broadcasting Act 2009 and the BAI's General Commercial Communications Code".
As the advert played just weeks before the General Election, with wind energy an issue in several parts of the country, it was deemed to be an "implied criticism of current energy policy".
TV3 had previously rejected this complaint on grounds that, according to the station, political advertising is restricted for "political parties, trade unions and charities". Both stations have now apologised to the complainant, Francis Clauson.
A similar statement from RTÉ said the advert promotes a larger role wind energy could play, before also stating that this "is not a matter of political debate or controversy and nowhere in the complaint does [Mr Clauson] substantiate his claim that wind energy is currently a matter of significant political debate".
The BAI felt that the phrase "a political end" has a wide meaning, strengthening its ruling.
After he came into the position following the election, Minister for Energy Denis Naughton said Ireland must develop alternatives to wind energy and would need a "suite of energy solutions".