Feeds

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

Insert 'didn't see that coming' gag here

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
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.