Channels take rap for celeb ad abuse

The Independent Television Commission has been besieged by complaints relating to ads featuring actors being scheduled alongside programmes in which the actors appear.

In its latest report for June, the ITC upheld complaints relating to five separate incidents where this occurred.

An ITC spokeswoman says that despite a spate of complaints on the same issue arising a couple of months ago, the incidents are not linked and relate to different broadcasters.

She says: “We look to see if there’s a problem with the broadcasters’ compliance procedures. If we are satisfied these are isolated incidences, for example due to late running or late scheduling of a programme, then it is not taken further. If there’s a repeated breach of any part of the code, that warrants stronger action.”

Two complaints related to Sky One, which broadcast an ad for Maybelline Cosmetics featuring Sarah Michelle Geller during an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which she takes the lead role. The second complaint was for Worthington’s Bitter featuring singer Suggs during an episode of comedy quiz show Jumpers for Goalposts.

Other offenders included Granada Enterprises, which scheduled an ad for Direct Line, featuring Edward Peel, in the Yorkshire and Border ITV regions during an episode of London’s Burning, in which he also appeared. It also ran an ad for the Sunday Express, featuring Davina McCall, in the HTV, LWT and Meridian regions during Meet the Popstars programme, which McCall presented. In addition, Flextech was forced to apologise after an ad for Mr Kipling Cakes, featuring Ricky Tomlinson, was shown during an episode of The Royle Family, in which he stars.

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