Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Ofcom plans ITV talks over breaches

Patsy Kensit talked about losing weight on Alan Titchmarsh's show

ITV bosses have been summoned to a meeting with communications watchdog Ofcom after it ruled an episode of Alan Titchmarsh's chat show breached broadcasting regulations.

A viewer complained after an interview with actress Patsy Kensit on the daytime show included several mentions of diet firm Weight Watchers - which she is paid to advertise.

Ofcom's report found more than half of the five-minute interview was about Patsy's struggle with her weight.

During that time, she told Alan she had been introduced to Weight Watchers while working on Emmerdale and said it was the only thing that "worked" for her.

She mentioned the scheme's "pro points" system for counting calories and told the TV interviewer: "And I could eat whatever I wanted and wake up - you know everything. I was like - cause I love food. This way, it's a healthy way. I've got two gorgeous sons and I cook a lot and we have an evening meal together and I'm not there drinking some goop."

ITV said Patsy's comments were "brief and not unduly prominent", but Ofcom noted Alan did not challenge her claims and that Patsy is a "weight loss ambassador" for the firm - which was not mentioned during the interview.

It ruled that the references to the firm were "promotional and unduly prominent" and breached the broadcasting code.

ITV was criticised by Ofcom two months ago after an interview on Lorraine in which Dannii Minogue promoted a type of milk.

Dannii, like Patsy, was paid to promote the product which she talked about on the early morning show.

Ofcom said that "in light of the current latest case", it was "requesting that ITV attends a meeting at Ofcom to discuss its compliance in this area".

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