Laura Lynn's "Oh Wat een Dag" (Oh What a Day) has led the Flemish official singles list for five consecutive weeks, but Universal Music Belgium/ARS managing director Patrick Busschots claims that the public broadcaster VRT is not meeting its quota on Flemish/Dutch language repertoire, and that Lynn is not getting serious airplay with the national radio station.

The discussion on the music language quota is not new, both in the Flemish part of the country, as well in the French-speaking south, and very often the public broadcasters on both sides of the language border have been under fire.

Recent guidelines, issued by the VRT in January 2009, clearly stipulate the public broadcaster's mission on airplay for Dutch language repertoire. The guidelines state that the VRT should devote at least 20% of its airtime to Flemish music productions, with one of its channels, Radio 2, focusing more on Flemish repertoire, with a minimum quota of 25% of the airtime.

"Laura Lynn was featured in Radio 2's 'Viva Vlaanderen' show, highlighting her new album," comments Petra Van San, head of communication at VRT's Radio 2, "And she gets regular plays in the Flemish Top 10 chart show, which in fact reflects her airplay status." Van San adds that Lynn was listed on Radio 2's playlist for one week.

However, Busschots is not satisfied with the amount of airplay on VRT Radio 2 and took the occasion of the release of Laura Lynn's fifth album, "In Vuur en Vlam" (ARS/Universal), to criticize the public broadcaster's airplay of 'schlager' artists such as Laura Lynn, or instrumental accordion duo the Sunsets.

"Combined album sales of Laura Lynn add up to over 300,000, the new album also shipped platinum on release," says Busschots. "New act the Sunsets sold over 12,500 copies in its first month - and yet the VRT's popular channel, reaching exactly Laura Lynn's target audience, is keeping the repertoire off air, even during the Flemish Top 10 countdown."

"I can understand that alternative rock or dance channels don't play schlager music, but I have difficulties in following Radio 2's attitude," he adds.

Busschots says the lack in airplay has meant that other marketing methods have been used to achieve strong sales results for domestic talent.

"We launched Laura Lynn's new single during the annual Schlager festival [in Hasselt, April 3-5] before an audience of over 50,000 people - it was the kick-off for the new album," he says. "In addition, we received positive reviews in the press; combined with a publicity campaign on [commercial TV channel] VTM, sales continue to grow."