Ofcom Alters UK Licenses In Wake Of Contest Scandal
July 24, 2007 at 5:47 AM (PT)
OFCOM is adopting the recommendation from a report reviewing the recent phony phone contest scandal and will change all UK broadcast licenses to make broadcasters directly responsible for protecting consumers by making phone contests fair. The requirement will also include third-party verification of premium-rate phone service activity.
The commission adopted the report by RICHARD AYRE in the wake of several incidents in which phone-in broadcast contests were "won" by phony "contestants" set up by the shows' producers rather than by legitimate contestants from the public, with audience members paying premium per-call fees for their entries without a chance to win.
OFCOM is considering other options for regulating call-in contests, with one possibility being to designate the shows as advertising and let the ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY regulate them, and others involving labeling of the shows and to institute tighter rules. The commission is taking responses to the issue until OCTOBER 17.