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X Factor breached ad rules

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    Posted: 25 Jan 2011 at 11:13


Published: 24 Jan 2011

THE X Factor has been rapped over breaching rules on promoting products on TV shows.

Watchdog Ofcom ruled the ITV1 telly talent show had broken its strict guideline on advertising within TV shows by telling fans they could download Diana Vickers' and Michael Buble's singles from the X Factor website.

On October 17 presenter Dermot O'Leary told fans they could download Diana's single, My Wicked Heart, from the site.

Bosses blamed a script error for the mistake - but similar wording was used again on October 24 after a performance by Michael Buble.

Despite the announcements programme-makers insisted the X Factor website did not make the performers' singles available to download and there was no information on downloading the songs there.

Regulator Ofcom decided the show had breached section 10.3 of its broadcasting code which bans the promotion of products and services in programmes.

But it found the show had not breached rules on product placement as the references weren't made after a financial arrangement with a music download service.

Ofcom confirmed last month it planned to relax rules on product placement from February 28.

From that date companies will be allowed to pay for their products to appear in TV series, entertainment shows and sports programmes.

But it will remain prohibited in all children's and news programmes, current affairs shows and religious programmes.

And products containing tobacco, alcohol, and fatty foods and drinks will remain banned as will gambling services and medicine.

Viewers will also be warned of the product placement by logo that will appear on screen for three seconds at the start and end of shows.

In a separate ruling Ofcom also criticised The X Factor for not warning viewers that a pre-recorded performance by judge Cheryl Cole on 24 October contained flashing lights.

The regulator warned that certain types of flashing images could trigger seizures in some epileptic viewers.

The Sun

Edited by Bren - 25 Jan 2011 at 11:13
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