Feeds

118 118 slapped for David Bedford ‘caricature’

Moustachioed joggers will continue to run though

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Directory enquiries (DQ) outfit The Number - whose ads featuring two moustachioed 1970s-style runners have been elevated to cult status - has been slapped for using the image of former British athlete David Bedford.

Communications regulator Ofcom today upheld a complaint from Mr Bedford concerning the "118 118 Runners" featured in ads for the DQ service.

In a statement the regulator said: "The Content Board found as a fact that the 118 118 Runners featured in The Number's TV advertisements do caricature David Bedford by way of a comically exaggerated representation of him looking like he did in the 1970s, sporting a hairstyle and facial hair like his at the time, and wearing running kit almost identical to the running kit that was distinctively worn by him at the time, including red socks, sky-blue shorts with gold braiding and a vest with 2 hoops.

It went on: "The Number concedes that it neither sought nor obtained David Bedford's permission to be caricatured."

Caricature without permission is a breach of advertising rules.

Despite the ruling, Ofcom stopped short of banning the ads because it ruled that Mr Bedford had not "suffered actual financial harm as a result of the caricature". As a result, The Number will continue to use its runners.

In October last year Mr Bedford wrote to The Number demanding compensation after he alleged that the DQ outfit had ripped off his image without his permission.

At the time a spokesman for The Number dismissed the allegations as "ridiculous" insisting that the joggers were not modelled on the image of David Bedford.

Instead, he explained that The Number wanted a "1970s retro style" and that the company had actually loosely based its characters on Steve Prefontaine - the US athlete who died in 1975.

Although legal letters have been exchanges, The Number has still not received a formal writ from Mr Bedford, a spokesman said today. . ®

Related Story

David Bedford gets the hump over 118 118 ads

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.