Icstis, the regulatory body examining the TV premium-rate phone-in scandal in the UK has just released its statement. For those not of these shores, one of our fondest democratic rights in the UK is to vote via text on reality TV shows like Big Brother and Richard & Judy. We take it more seriously than politics sometimes and certainly more of us participate than vote in traditional elections and so when we discover that our votes have often not been counted (even when our money is taken) the nation is miffed.
And the TV companies involved had better take this seriously, because the revenue and the participation in these shows has given them a shot in the arm when advertising and viewing figures from traditional entertainment TV formats are falling. In our new democracy, people like to be involved and have a say in many new things that are important to them (and what people choose to watch is important to them). If trust is lost in the participation part, then the voyeuristic element of reality formats becomes much less interesting.
The Ictis release is here and the most interesting point they make is about the establishment of a Trust Mark or Quality standard that would appear on screen to verify that voting was real and monitored. That’s the least the TV and production companies should do to win back trust, because viewers can vote with their remote (and increasingly their mouse) and without these reality formats their future may be bleak.
[tags]Icstis, Richard & Judy, Big Brother, PR[/tags]