BBC apologises for keeping charity cash

The BBC is to make an onscreen apology after admitting it kept 106,000 from premium rate phone-ins that should have gone to charity. The revelation comes a day after ITV was fined a record 5.675m by regulator Ofcom for its failures over premium-rate services.

The BBC is to make an onscreen apology after admitting it kept £106,000 from premium rate phone-ins that should have gone to charity. The revelation comes a day after ITV was fined a record £5.675m by regulator Ofcom for its failures over premium-rate services.

The corporation has today (May 9) issued a statement following the publication of reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ronald Neil. The Neil Report was commissioned by BBC Trust, the corporation’s governance body, following a string of scandals across the industy including BBC shows such as Comic Relief and Blue Peter.

The reports reveal that £106,000 which should have gone to charity was retained by service provider Audiocall. The sum relates to calls made to a number of shows outside of voting windows over a two-year period, ending in August 2007. “This was a serious oversight by Audiocall, which must never be allowed to happen again,” the BBC says in a statement.

Separately, in one instance in the show Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up 2007, “communication problems” meant a large volume of calls came in when the lines were not open. The sums due to charity have now been repaid with interest, the BBC says.

“Throughout our response to the discovery that some BBC programmes had fallen short of our high standards we have consistently disclosed all instances and outlined to the public the action we are taking to put things right. There are early signs that this has contributed to a restoration of public trust. We do not take that trust for granted.”

The BBC says a number of “tough steps” have been taken since last summer, which the reports praise. Steps included staff training, a new code of conduct for the use of premium rate telephony and a “centre of excellence” to provide expertise on and oversee such services.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here