Feeds

Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense

Insert 'didn't see that coming' gag here

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Psychic TV has been fined £12,500 for failing to remind viewers that it’s all nonsense, while interactive quiz channel The Big Deal got stung with a 10 grand fine for advertising the service - something neither of them saw coming.

The broadcast breached Ofcom's latest guidance for flimflam artists: that they must regularly remind viewers they're talking bollocks, both in words and on-screen banners, and that claims of efficacy aren't permitted. Both Psychic TV and Big Deal managed to breach both those clauses.

The broadcast claimed psychics could provide "accurate and precise" readings for those who called in. Presenters provided evidence in the form of anecdotes about previous successes (which isn't allowed) and claimed to have worked for various police forces in solving crimes, specifically in connection with the murder of Milly Dowler, which is also verboten - if only because it isn't true.

Ofcom can't ban psychics from appearing on TV, and dial-in TV is a burgeoning industry right now, so the regulator erects a maze of legislation requiring broadcasters to constantly remind viewers that it’s all a bit of fun and shouldn't be taken seriously.

Ofcom is in the enviable position to make that statement - unlike the Daily Mail, which has just paid out £125,000 following claims that a performing psychic was cheating. The Mail's mistake was to label Sally Morgan a fraud, rather than just, er, not to be taken seriously, but Ofcom can explicitly require presenters to denigrate their own beliefs as nonsensical entertainment.

Ofcom regularly sanctions Participation TV services (PTV), though normally it's those late-night premium rate chat lines that attract the regulator’s ire, for being excessively graphic while trying to recruit callers.

As that business moves online it falls outside Ofcom’s remit, but the slow migration is a reminder of how ubiquitous TV remains despite the obvious advantages of internet delivery. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.