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Watchdog bites Nokia over Lumia 800 TV 'flash ads'

Channel 5 sponsorship crossed the line

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UK communications regulator Ofcom has slapped the wrists of Nokia and Channel 5 for failing to make it sufficiently clear to viewers that the TV company had taken the Finnish phone giant's sponsorship Euro, part of Nokia's Lumia 800 Windows Phone handset promo programme.

Nokia paid Channel 5 an undisclosed sum to sponsor the three channels that the telly firm transmits under the Five brand: 5, 5* and 5 USA. The text "Channel Sponsor Nokia Lumia" was used between 26 October 2011 and 2 November 2011.

All three stations beamed 20-second sponsorship "idents" and half-second "flash" shots between other ads to show the Lumia tie-in which, together, Channel 5 said would establish "the association between Nokia Lumia and Channel 5… obvious to viewers".

Here's what it looked like, courtesy of YouTube:

Ofcom disagreed. It said the two had breached its rules on the clear identification of a programme or channel sponsor, specifically Rule 9.19 of the 2003 Communications Act. ®

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