You’re not fired

Well, here’s an example of overregulation: UK TV fans are besieging an equivalent of the FCC with complaints about Big Brother bringing back a contestant who’d been voted off.

  • http://blog.hackingcough.com Chris Edwards

    Overregulation where? The complaints are about the use (or misuse) of premium-rate phone lines for voting, not about the content of Big Brother. This is about money – and the way Endemol has suddenly increased the number of things viewers pay to vote on – not content. And there is no indication that Ofcom has the power to prevent Big Brother from pulling this kind of stunt. People just seem to be using Ofcom as a venue for venting.

    From the Ofcom Broadcasting Code:

    10.9 Premium rate numbers will normally be regarded as products or services, and must therefore not appear in programmes, except where:

    they form part of the editorial content of the programme; or
    they fall within the meaning of programme-related material.

    Why the complainants can’t just turn over and watch something else is beyond me. But I can’t see a case for overregulation here unless there was something else you were thinking of that you didn’t bother to write down, or you just got the wrong end of the stick.

  • Jim Karna

    Surely more of a case of the cow people watching Big Brother feeling ripped off. Perhaps Endemol should add a “YOU DON’T HAVE TO CALL THE PREMIUM RATE PHONE LINE MORON” disclaimer.

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  • bittorent

    Jeff in one breath you criticise a well-known computer manufacturer that got away with screwing you over. In the next you criticise regulations that are designed to protect people from being defrauded by premium-rate phone lines. Make your mind up. Either consumers are protected from huge companies or they aren’t.

    Also, today’s Daily Star newspaper reports:

    “Big Brother ‘golden’ ticket contest is set to be ruled a con by the
    advertising watchdog.”

    So this isn’t even the first ‘con’ this series.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Sorry, but this seems rather like creating a government commission to take complaints from people who suddenly discover that lotteries and slot machines are a bad deal. You call on these stupid lines for these stupid shows and you expect government to protect you from idiocy? Too damned late.

  • Big Brother Contract

    1) Page 5 of the Big Brother contract states if a housemate leaves the house for whatever reason they forfeit the right to the prize money.
    This is clearly stated

    However rule 12 of the Big Brother contract does state
    ” Big Brother reserves the right to change the rules at any time”.

    The fact this has occurred and Big Brother producers have re-introduced evicted housmates into the programme to win prize money, means the competition is not being conducted fairly and Big Brother have overturned one of their own fundamental rules .

    Big Brother cannot be classed as a competition as the producers can influence or overturn the voting public. They may have also mislead the public into thinking when people are evicted they will not be able to return or win the prize money. If people knew they could return again I dont think they would have voted in the first place to evict them.

    Rule 12 should have been made known to the public on the outset.

    If the producers can change the rules of a contestant constantly, so their favourites such as Nikki or Pete win, it ceases to become a competition and then it becomes a show. The producers should just pay Nikki and Pete a fee and stop pretending that the viewers have a say. “why state you decide” to the masses or write Rule 5 of the contestants contract

    ” The public decide who is evicted” .

    Is this not purposely misleading.

    4) OFCOM rules :

    2.2 Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience. Big Brother is in channel four’s factual entertainment catergory.

    Secondly I do not believe the built in Big Brother competition complies to OFCOM rules as these rules state:

    2.11 Competitions should be conducted fairly, prizes should be described accurately and rules should be clear and appropriately made known.

    The Big Brother contract and all the rules are meaningless, if the producers can overturn them. I do not see this as a twist . I see it as a way to manipulate the outcome and increase the revenue of the show.

    5) Page 5 of the Big Brother contract states ” once a housemate leaves for whatever reason they forfeit any claim to the prize money” . None of the current evictees therefore should not be eligible for PRIZE MONEY as they have forfeited their claim.

    According to Big Brother’s contract the only person who is actually eligible to go into the big brother house is Jonathan Leonard as he is the only one who hasnt walked, been evicted or ejected. He has not also been in the Big Brother House. However he wasnt invited back.

    Page 7 of the contract is clear ” If a housemate leaves the house there is no going back . once you are outside you cannot go back”

    Page 17 of the BB contract states “if as a housemate if you require a hospital stay of more than one day , you may not be able to enter the house and if you do go to hospital you will have a member of the production team to ensure you have no or minimal contact with the outside world” The evictees they have invited back have had maximum contact with the outside world, seen how they were perceived by others , the public and the press.

    6) Jonathan Leonard is in the same position as Kinga was last year, when she wasn’t voted in the house by Makosi. Kinga was invited back for the reason e.g she wasn’t in the Big Brother house and didnt get evicted officially.Jonathan is in the identical position as Kinga was last year.

    7) Big Brother didnt invite Science, Mary, Derek, Saskia, etc back last year as they were all evicted and therefore forfeited the prize money and the right to return. It clearly states this in the Big Brother rules.

    The new rule that Big Brother producers have now invented is ludicrous in light of their previous actions and current contract.

    Even though I am cynical , I dont think people should be castigated or called stupid for being trusting. We can all find people who will trust us and yes we can con them, but see if any judge lets you off on any contrick using the defence ” my victim was a twit your honour”.

    The ASA, OFCOM,ICTIS etc are there for people who are not cynical or legally minded. Lets face it big Brother didnt stick to the rules of their own contract this year, so how could anyone know they would pull such a stunt.

    The government and relevant departments is there to protect us from con artists, this is not the lottery or a slot machine.

    If the lottery decided to change the rules so someone of their choice with one number could win , I would expect the same reaction.

  • big bro contract

    If the lottery changed the rules so a person of their choice with one number won. I would expect the same level of complaint. Not everyone is cynical and thinks the whole world is cheating swine.

    This goes to show con artist can act on every level. The Big Brother contract does state
    “once a housemate leaves for whatever reason , they forfeit they right to the prize money”.
    Rule 5 of the big Brothr contract states 2the public decides who is evicted”.
    So how would the know that Big Brother is such an untrustyworthy organisation that they cannot even stick to their contract or rules.

  • big bro contract

    If you went to buy a car and you gave the sales man a deposit, came back and he says he hasnt got it your money, he has given it to charity.

    You would go to the police and lodge a complaint , you may indeed be a fool, you may indeed be a twit. But he indeed would be charged.

    The government doesnt only have a duty to protect the bright eyed and bushy tailed. It should also protect the slower or the more trusting members of society

  • big bro contract

    Ofcom rules state :

    2.2 Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience.

    Secondly I do not believe the built in competition complies to OFCOM rules as your rules state

    2.11 Competitions should be conducted fairly, prizes should be described accurately and rules should be clear and appropriately made known.