That’s what TQS is going to change its name to: V. Not Canal V, just V. This, after seven months of brainstorming, is the best they could come up with. The idea is that the network will have a lot of stuff starting with V, and so this links it all together.
- Hugo Dumas, La Presse
- Richard Therrien, Le Soleil
- Caroline Roy, Rue Frontenac
- Suzanne Lortie, Showbizz
- 7 jours
And yet, the same thing I said about “A” a year ago still applies: The name is ungoogleable, and therefore useless in a new media environment. Go ahead, put “V” into a Google News search and see what comes up. Compare that to TQS. If you think that’s a minor issue for a television network, you clearly don’t understand how the Internet works.
Even Remstar should have figured that out quickly. The website isn’t v.com or v.ca, but vtele.ca. That should have clued them in that their idea was flawed.
Besides, V is also the name of a bunch of other television networks around the world: the multinational Channel [V], Portugal’s Canal V on Cablovisao, plus all sorts of networks that call themselves VTV.
Maxime Rémillard and TQS’s PR team expect all the media will be talking about this in the morning. And he’s right, the story is everywhere. But in what is perhaps the worst timing ever, the news will be packaged (like in this Radio-Canada piece) with news that came out earlier Wednesday that TQS had violated the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ code of ethics with unfair contests on its Call-TV program.
The decision of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which decides on complaints against private broadcasters, is available online. In summary, it takes issue with the fairness of the contests, particularly with one that asked callers to guess names that turned out to be anything but guessable: Pancho, Hakan, Gabor, Darko, Lamar and Nanno. (I’m not sure if those were chosen to be intentionally deceptive, or because the show is shot in Austria and the crew have no idea what names are common in Quebec.) It also said the program was not being transparent enough about its rules, which is especially a problem when people are asked to pay to take part.
TQS, for its part, didn’t put up a defence of the program. Instead, it absolved itself of responsibility, claiming Call TV was an infomercial, and wanted to pass the buck to creator Mass Response.
The CBSC rightfully called this suggestion ludicrous on its face, reminding TQS that broadcasters are responsible for everything they put on air.
But the CBSC also said it could only adjudicate stuff that was broadcasted, not the stuff that went on behind the scenes. It couldn’t comment on how people were charged for their calls, or whether they might have been overcharged. That, it said, was the responsibility of the government or another government-run body.
That’s one of two big problems with this decision: It doesn’t solve the underlying problem. This isn’t an issue of inappropriate content making it to air, or a broadcaster providing biased information during a newscast. This is an unlicensed overseas gambling operation masquerading as a quiz show to deceive people out of their money one dollar at a time. The investigation must be done by Quebec’s gambling authority, not the CBSC.
The other big problem goes to the heart of the CBSC itself. It’s one of those industry-self-regulation bodies, and so it’s in its best interest not to impose serious fines. Therefore, it doesn’t impose any fines or other serious punishment for such gross violations of its codes.
Instead, despite being found in violation of its own industry’s code, the only thing TQS has been mandated to do is air a short notice twice during the next week.
And presumably make Call TV more fair. Otherwise they might get an even more strongly-worded letter.