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ofcom rules regarding Psychic tv !
12-05-2013, 01:51 PM
Post: #1
ofcom rules regarding Psychic tv !
Ofcom strengthens guidelines on psychic television
Published Dec 20 2011, 15:28 GMT  |  By Andrew Laughlin


Media regulator Ofcom has today published new guidelines on psychic TV services, including ouija, satanism, spells, clairvoyance and exorcism.

Ofcom has opted to clarify the rules in response to a growth in psychic broadcasts that involve participation television (PTV), a form of teleshopping that encourages users to call in for psychic readings and services.

The regulator warned that both the PTV advertisement and the psychic service itself must state clearly that they are "for entertainment purposes only".

Ofcom's existing rules surrounding the advertising of psychic TV "remain unchanged", but the new guidance is "designed to explain the intention behind the rules and aid broadcaster's compliance".

Core to the guidelines is that all psychic PTV should be "readily identifiable as advertising" and never dressed up as editorial content that people could mistake for programming.

Ofcom said that Rule 15.4 of the broadcasting code states that there are "explicit prohibitions" on any television advertisements that "promote psychic practices or practices related to the occult".

This includes "ouija, satanism, casting of spells, palmistry, attempts to contact the dead, divination, clairvoyance, clairaudience, the invocation of spirits or demons and exorcism".

Ofcom said that the use of props such as "chicken bones, tea leaves etc" is not "in principle problematic", but warned that use of such materials to indirectly promote the occult is "likely to be unacceptable". The same was true for the use of 'spirit guides' by psychic mediums.

"For clarity, the use of a 'spirit guide' - which includes some supposed supernatural advisor of obscure, mythological or ancient provenance - is not, in Ofcom's opinion, akin to
communicating with the dead," said Ofcom.

Broadcasters have also been warned that the use of past customer testimonials are completely banned, as are any "claims of efficiency" of the psychic methods by presenters.

Ofcom's rules further have specific guidelines preventing presenters from predicting "negative experiences or specific events" in readings, such as births, deaths, marriages or new job, or offering "life-changing advice" related to health or finance.

The PTV spots must also never encourage "excessive use" by viewers, said Ofcom.
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