X Factor cleared of breaching product placement rules

X Factor cleared of breaching product placement rules

X Factor cleared of breaching product placement rules

The X Factor has been cleared of breaching product placement rules.

Watchdog Ofcom launched an investigation into the latest series of the ITV show, which saw Rak-Su crowned winners, following complaints about references to the Three mobile phone network.

The regulator looked into whether the show broke rules in an episode featuring judges’ houses.

Since early 2011, TV programmes made for UK audiences have been able to contain product placement as long as references are not unduly prominent.

The phone was featured when Sharon Osbourne sent one of her contestants a text and when fellow X Factor judge Louis Walsh told singers they would be heading to Osbourne’s house.

A contestant was also given a branded phone to call home after discovering that they had got through to the next stage of the competition.

Sharon Osbourne at X Factor filming (Ian West/PA)
Sharon Osbourne at X Factor filming (Ian West/PA)

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We carefully considered references to a mobile phone network on The X Factor.

“Commercial broadcasters are allowed to include products in their programmes, as long as they don’t promote them, give them too much prominence, and viewers are notified.

“We found these references were in keeping with the narrative of the programme, and were brief and few in number.”

Ofcom also announced that Channel 5 show OMG: Painted, Pierced And Proud, featuring people who have undertaken extreme body modifications in the name of body art, had breached rules.

The regulator received a complaint about an element in the programme involving a contributor who had deliberately cut off part of one of her fingers.

A spokeswoman said: “We found this programme broke our rules by showing a graphic case of self-harm, without sufficient context or justification.”

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