Ofcom hits BBC with 400,000 fine

Ofcom has fined the BBC 400,000 for breaches of the Broadcasting Code in regard to conducting competitions fairly.

Ofcom has fined the BBC £400,000 for breaches of the Broadcasting Code in regard to conducting competitions fairly.

The television regulator has found the BBC in breach of the Code for faking winners and misleading its audience across both TV and radio programmes.

The fine follows heavy penalties given to commercial broadcasters including Channel 4 and ITV recently for similar abuses of viewer trust. ITV was fined £5.6m in May and Channel 4 was fined £1.5m in December last year.

Ofcom found breaches in Comic Relief and Sport Relief on BBC 1 and The Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 1 and the Liz Kershaw Show on BBC 6 Music.

The regulator says that the breaches were “very serious” and that in some case the production team had taken “pre-mediated decisions” to broadcast competition and encourage participation in the knowledge the audience had no chance of winning.

It did note that the BBC did not receive any money from entries although viewers and listeners paid for the cost of their calls.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

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