Big Brother investigation 'brings premium rate industry into disrepute'

Was it ever in repute in the first place?

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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