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Big Brother investigation 'brings premium rate industry into disrepute'

Was it ever in repute in the first place?

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The premium rate industry has hit back at ICTSIS for the charge it imposed yesterday over misleading Big Brother voting rules.

Channel 4 said it would cough the £40k+ the regulator is demanding in investigation costs from the broadcaster's text and phone premium rate providers Minick UK and iTouch.

Network for Online Commerce chairman Roy Ellyat said: "This never was an issue that needed to go any further than a telephone call between ICSTIS and Channel 4. It should not be allowed to bring the Premium Rate business into disrepute for no good reason."

ICTSIS' costs demand is a drop in the ocean of Channel 4 and its partners' annual milking of the Big Brother cash cow. The contestant reentry wheeze dreamt up by the show's producers prompted a tabloid campaign to have voting charges refunded.

Ellyat added: "Big Brother is a game and at the end of the day nobody was harmed but Channel 4 did receive some excellent value for money publicity which assumedly made a significant contribution towards their 'costs'." ®

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