Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: ITV's Vote of Confidence

Magazine article Marketing

Editor's Comment: ITV's Vote of Confidence

Article excerpt

It's not often that broadcasters are accused of 'daylight robbery', but this was the charge levelled at ITV back in 2007, when it found itself at the centre of a premium-rate phone-in scandal.

The network had charged viewers of primetime shows including The X Factor and I'm a Celebrity ... for casting premium-rate phone votes even when they stood no chance of being counted.

Such was the extent of the debacle that even Ant and Dec were hauled over the coals, being forced to apologise for the pounds 6.5m audiences had wasted calling their programmes. It wasn't long before other broadcasters were drawn into the controversy, and public outcry reached fever pitch when Children's BBC stalwart Blue Peter admitted ignoring the majority of viewers who voted to name a kitten Cookie - calling it Socks instead.

The upshot was hefty fines handed out by broadcast regulator Ofcom and a ban on premium-rate phone, SMS and interactive TV voting.

Three years on, the cloud appears to be lifting, with ITV considering plans to reinstate mobile voting - albeit with a twist. …

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