RNZ’s Radio with Pictures™ blunder

07/03/16

RNZ’s Radio with Pictures™ blunder

A slight dampener has been put on Radio New Zealand’s first brand campaign in years as they were unwittingly using a Tandem trademark – Radio with Pictures™.

The campaign has been hailed as a “rare occurrence” with assistance from creative agency Rainger and Rolfe, large billboards, press releases and articles – yes, the whole works.

But it’s this striking image’s strong strapline (which also appeared on two Auckland billboards) that has become an issue for the state broadcaster.

RNZ launched its new multi-platform Checkpoint programme with John Campbell on the 18th January, and RNZ’s head of content, Carol Hirschfeld, had emphasised the importance of the new programme format, the quality of its content and Campbell’s integrity as a trusted presenter.

Checkpoint - John Campbell


“This is truly ground-breaking stuff for RNZ – radio with pictures where people can choose to listen on radio or to watch, online, and on TV via Freeview. It’s a chance for our audience to see the newsmakers, reporters and producers – a real behind the scenes look at how the show is put together.

However, the strapline they were using, was a trademark infringement.

RNZ’s head of communications, John Barr says swift action was taken to remove references to Radio with Pictures™ from on air promotions, online and social media, billboards and removal of a yet-to-be-run “Adshel” element of their campaign.

Barr says “we were unaware of this development in November last year, and that any breach was certainly unintentional”.

Although RNZ has done all they can to remove Radio with Pictures™ from reference and material, Barr says, “We note, however, that Radio New Zealand cannot control use of those words in external print media where journalists have referred to the current Radio New Zealand multi-platform digital broadcasting strategy as ‘radio with pictures’.”

Tandem’s managing director Dave Dunlay says “I’m a big fan of John Campbell and RNZ but unfortunately our company registered the name for our new multimedia digital sales package for use on radio and online last year. Radio with Pictures™ is an exciting new package our business is offering and consequently we had to defend and protect the trademarked name against RNZ.”