Nicole rapped over X Factor comment
Nicole Scherzinger's use of the term "effing" in a live edition of The X Factor results show was unsuitable for a pre-watershed audience, according to TV regulator Ofcom.
The show judge used the word as she introduced her act - who went on to win last year's contest - telling viewers: "I'm so proud, this is James effing Arthur."
Ofcom - which received 52 complaints about the incident - said it considered the term to be an example of "offensive language" in the context of the show.
The body said a number of viewers considered it to have simply been used as a substitute for a swear word and "as a result it was capable of causing a certain amount of offence".
Ofcom said the use of "effing" went beyond audience expectations for the show - which started at 8pm - and was not appropriate for a pre-watershed show which appealed to children.
ITV said it did not consider the use of the word to be offensive in the context of the programme.
Programme-makers on the night had considered whether to broadcast an apology but concluded that it was less upsetting than the actual swear word, and that viewers would have realised Nicole did not mean to cause offence.
Ofcom said it noted that judges had already been reminded about the use of bad language and that the term may not be deemed as offensive in her US homeland, and decided the matter was resolved with no further action to be taken.