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Friday, 27 July, 2001, 18:51 GMT 19:51 UK
LWT fined 100,000
ITC logo
This is the first time that the ITC has fined LWT
London Weekend Television (LWT) has been fined 100,000 by the Independent Television Commission (ITC).

The ITC found that the TV company had broken its rules on sponsorship and product placement with its series Club@vision.

In February 2000, the ITC received a complaint that night clubs were being asked to pay a fee for inclusion in the programme, made for LWT by an independent production company.
The London TV Centre
The London TV Centre, home of LWT

After an investigation the ITC concluded that the selection of clubs for the programme had indeed been influenced by the payment of fees - and that this compromised the production company's editorial judgment.

Compliance record

In a statement the ITC said that "the serious and long-running nature of the code breach, and the importance the ITC places on protecting the editorial integrity of programmes from commercial influence" justified the hefty fine.

But the ITC also stated that LWT had not been aware of the problem and that LWT's compliance record has in other respects been good.

The ITC enquiry showed that several club owners had paid fees and expenses - from 500 upwards - to an event promoter working on behalf of the production company producing the programme.

Others clubs claimed that they had refused make any payment and had not appeared in the programme.

Breach

Though some clubs appearing in the programme did not pay a fee, the ITC failed to find a single incident of a club willing to pay a fee to the promoter not appearing on the shortlist of clubs for possible inclusion.

The ITC concluded that this represented a breach of the ITC Code of Programme Sponsorship, as the inclusion of clubs in the programme in return for payment or other valuable consideration represents product placement.

This is the first financial penalty levied on LWT by the ITC.

The money is payable within 28 days of the licensee being notified - and goes to the Treasury, not to the ITC.

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