ICSTIS’ Adjudication’s Panel has heard a group of similar cases in relation to the operation of ‘live’ 1-2-1 services, finding them all in varying degrees of breach of the ICSTIS code. All the services had aired during the afternoon on Sky Channels’ 906, 909, 910, 913, 915 or 916, with the formats usually comprising two operators on screen at the same time in revealing outfits, who were available to receive calls on a premium rate number.
The breaches against the operators included: operating an adult service on an incorrect (0906) prefix; misleadingly implying that the service was a live chat service, when at times of the day it was a recorded service; the associated website for one of the services (www.officebabe.tv) provided no pricing information for the premium rate call; the website did not contain any, or adequate contact information for either the service or information provider; the website did not appear to state that calls to the service are recorded; customers were held online – whilst being charged – for an unreasonably prolonged or delayed period before being connected to an operator; the Panel had heard evidence of a calls involving clearly underage callers which was not terminated immediately by the operator; and all the services were promoted pre-watershed in a non-encrypted format.
ICSTIS fined LiveLines UK Ltd a total of £85,000 (£60,000 & £25,000) for the TV and online broadcast of live one-2-one adult services for Office Babe, Hospital Reception, Housebabes and the associated Officebabe website; Datapro Services £3,000 for the TV broadcast of the Office Babe, and Hospital Reception services; Com & Tel Ltd £35,000 and 2 Ergo Ltd (content and/or promotion provided by Com & Tel) £5,000 for the TV broadcast of Babedate and Mobibabes services; and Eckoh Technologies £10,000 for the TV broadcast of the Babeworld service.
In relation to the services offered by LiveLines, the Panel ruled that with regards to the Housebabes Live service, that “the service in its current format, and any other live adult service promoted by the service provider on television before the watershed, must be taken off the air within 48 hours of the notification of these findings. The service(s) and must not be aired before the watershed on any channels or using any numbers. Failure to comply with this will result in further breaches of the Code being raised”. LivesLines has closed down the Office Babe, Hospital Reception services.
Interestingly, ICSTIS had no received any complaints about these services, and the complaints arose from random monitoring by ICSTIS.