GMTV Fined Two Million Over Competitions Scandal

Posted on: September 26th, 2007 by Jason 4 Comments

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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  • kevinwj

    Am I missing some thing here?

    GMTV fined £2,000,000;
    Opera fined £250,000

    Takings £20,000,000

    Profit = £17,500,00.

    That will realy scare them wont it!!!

  • kevinwj

    Ooops make that £17,750, 000 profit……Ihad to go and borrow some more fingers.

  • 100LUCKY

    Its a good job someone was on the ball and on the side of the ‘competitor’ for a change! Maybe other companies will take heed!
    I did send of a compensation form and true enough to their word I was refunded with just over £28 this week! So at least was reccompensed in some way!
    Julie x

  • asemeye

    I know i entered quite a few of the GM TV competitions but it seems too much bother to figure out when…e.g tracing my text entries. What do you think???