GMTV Fined Two Million Over Competitions Scandal

Posted on: September 26th, 2007 by Jason

Breakfast TV broadcaster GMTV have been fined £2million by Ofcom over the competition phone-in scandal which allowed people to enter competitions via premium rate phone lines, yet they had no chance of winning. The fine is the largest ever against a broadcaster. The fine follows on from a £250,000 fine imposed on Opera Telecom by Icstis for their part in the affair.

According to a report on the fine at Outlaw: “the revenue generated by callers with no hope of winning appears to have been in excess of £20 million”. GMTV are taking steps to try and pay money back and are running a special competition, but it wouldn’t surprise us if GMTV still end up in profit from all this… at least in revenue terms rather than reputation.

The scandal has contributed to a media frenzy in investigating TV phone in competitions and the sad truth coming out of it all is that competition entrants have been being ripped off for many years. Even simple phone votes to name a cat on Blue Peter have resulted in viewers’ money being taken.

The good news though is that it is in the public domain and steps are being taken to make these kind of competitions more transparent. Now if only the press would get their teeth into getting the kind of competitions run by the Unclaimed Prize Register wiped off the comping map!

What do other compers think?
Are you now more wary of premium rate phone number competitions?
Do you think premium rate competitions should be banned?
Will you enter a TV phone-in competition again?

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