Ruling

Satisfactory Remedy – 10512-22 Bavister v cornwalllive.com

    • Date complaint received

      22nd September 2022

    • Outcome

      Resolved - satisfactory remedy

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Satisfactory Remedy – 10512-22 Bavister v cornwalllive.com

Summary of Complaint

1. John Bavister complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that cornwalllive.com breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in a Facebook post, published on 10 July 2022.

2. The material in question was an image published on Facebook. It consisted of text on a coloured background which read: “Dog’s don’t just die in hot cars – they can die from a walk in the sun on a day like today. The RSPCA advises against walking your dog in temperatures of 22C or over”.

3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 as the RSPCA had not given the advice published in the post.

4. The publication accepted that the RSPCA had not advised against walking your dog in temperatures of 22C or over. The day the publication was made aware of the complaint it deleted the post and published the following as a separate Facebook post:

Walking your dog in high temperatures: we previously stated walking dogs when the temperature is 22 degrees or above was advised against by the RSPCA. Although the RSPCA clearly recommends avoiding walking your dog in the hottest parts of the day, advice on specific temperatures comes from The Kennel Club Pet Insurance which says anything above 20C can cause your dog to become dehydrated and very hot very quickly, and "any temperature over 25C is a definite NO when it comes to walking." We are happy to clarify this.

5. The complainant did not accept the proposal as a resolution to the complaint as he did not think that the damage caused by the original article could be undone and thought it would be necessary to pursue financial sanctions against the newspaper. He said his complaint could not be resolved.

Relevant Code Provisions

Clause 1 (Accuracy)

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

v) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

Outcome

6. The publication requested that IPSO consider whether the remedial measures it had offered to the complainant amounted to a satisfactory resolution of the complaint such that, subject to fulfilment of the offer, the complaint could be closed.

7. The Committee noted that the publication had deleted the original Facebook post. It had also published a correction on Facebook, which acknowledged the original inaccuracy and put the correct position on record. As a post on the newspaper’s Facebook profile, the correction was of due prominence. Where it was published on the same day the publication received the complaint, this represented due promptness.

8. In line with the provisions in Regulation 40 of IPSO’s Regulations; having taken into account the nature of the complaint and the publication’s remedial actions in response, the Committee concluded that the remedial measures offered by the publication were a satisfactory resolution of the complaint and, as the correction had already been published, the complaint would be closed.


Date complaint received: 16/07/2022

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 09/09/2022