The BBC have announced that they are suspending all competitions after it was discovered that there have been more irregularities with their phone-in promotions. Irregularities were found with the following competitions: BBC One’s Sports Relief in July 2006, Comic Relief in March 2007, Children In Need on BBC Scotland in November 2005, The Liz Kershaw Show on BBC 6 Music and CBBC programme TMi. According to the report at The BBC “All phone-related competitions on BBC TV and radio will cease from midnight on Wednesday, while interactive and online competitions will be taken down as soon as possible”. Whilst it’s not a surprise that interactive competitions are being suspended, it is a surprise that online competitions are also being taken down.
It’s unclear if all The BBC sites, including magazines and radio stations, will be affected by the suspension, but we did spot this week that their Newsround site hadn’t updated their online competitions when usually there are 4 to 6 regular online prize draws. That suggests that the decision to suspend competitions perhaps isn’t one that was just made today!
Stopping online competitions isn’t new for The BBC. Many years ago there were numerous online competitions run across The BBC local radio websites, but these slowly disappeared along with competitions running in popular sections like BBC Film, Top of the Pops, and their Lifestyle areas. Only this year has there been an increase in online BBC competitions, mainly associated with the more commercial part of the business, like magazines BBC Good Homes and BBC Good Food as well as The BBC Shop.
The BBC’s decisions mirrors that of GMTV, who themselves are under fire regarding phone in competitions and who have also suspended their online competitions. Based on the report it could well be that they’ll be no BBC competitions online, via the TV or on the radio – and the bad news for compers is that there’s no indication of if or when that suspension will be lifted.
19th July Edit
All BBC.co.uk competitions have closed early. As we understand things winners will be drawn from entries received. The suspension has also meant that popular radio competitions like Car Park Catchphrase on the Chris Moyles Radio 1 show have also been forced to stop.