Ofcom Rule Britain's Got Talent Misled Viewers With Jules & Matisse Final Performance.
The communications regulator Ofcom has today ruled that the ITV talent show breached rule 2.14, which states broadcasters must make sure viewers are not "materially misled" about voting or any competition.
In a statement released earlier today by Ofcom:
Ofcom received complaints from 1,175 viewers about this year’s final on the grounds that the programme did not make clear that the tightrope sequence in the winning act Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse had not been performed by Matisse but by another dog Chase, who had also appeared in the semi-final performance. These viewers therefore felt that they or others who had voted for the winning act had been misled.
Ofcom said “...we have no reason to believe that there was any intention to deceive viewers that the tightrope walk actually involved a second dog. In particular, we noted that Chase, the dog which performed this part of the act, had been introduced to viewers in a previous episode in the series. We also noted that, in her appearance on the Lorraine programme the following day, Jules O’Dwyer was shown with both Matisse and Chase, and spoke openly about the role that the latter had played in the previous night’s performance”.
Ofcom concluded that although ITV may not have intended to deceive viewers, the presentation of the act “Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse” not only had the potential to mislead, but was likely to have done so, and that ITV had failed to ensure that viewers were not materially misled by the broadcast vote. Ofcom confirmed that it was not for them to determine whether the winning act was the rightful winner of the series, but whether ITV ensured that viewers were not materially misled about the vote.
In the light of this adjudication, ITV and BGT co-producers Thames and Syco Entertainment have agreed that viewers who voted for the winning act by a paid voting route (ie by landline or mobile, but not via the BGT app) may wish to seek a refund of the cost incurred in voting, or may wish for the entirety of those costs to be donated to charity (in this case the Royal Variety Charity, which already receives 15p from each BGT phone vote).
If you voted by phone you can request a refund from ITV.
We feel the oversight was more down to time constraints in a live show rather than deceiving viewers. Yes, in hindsight we should have been informed a second dog performed the tightrope part of the act, although this did not take away the skill of Jules as a dog trainer in our opinion as she owns and trains both dogs
Jules openly admitted her second dog was used the following day on the This Morning Program.
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