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New Playboy fined 22.5K for FTA porn breaches - 04-April-2009, 15:20

Playboy fined 22.5K for FTA porn breaches

By James Welsh

Playboy has been fined 22,500 for a series of Ofcom programme code breaches on its now-axed Playboy One service in 2007.

Ofcom said that Playboy One, which launched in November 2005 as the only free-to-air service in the adult section of the Sky electronic programme guide, was in breach of rules pertaining to the transmission of "adult sex" content on seven occasions in September, November and December 2007.

The media regulator investigated complaints about Jenna's American Sex Star, Adult Stars Close Up, Blue Collar Babes, Sexy Girls Next Door, Sexy Urban Legends, Sex House and Sex Guides, which all aired between 11pm and 3:30am during the period. It said that all the programmes "included sequences depicting masturbation, oral sex... clear labial detail, sexual intercourse and full nudity", and featured "strong language" including the f- and c-words "in an overtly sexual context".

"The explicitness, strength and/or sustained nature of the sexual content and language was unacceptable for broadcast on a free-to-air channel," Ofcom ruled. "The primary purpose of this material was sexual stimulation. None had a sufficient and clear editorial context to justify its broadcast."

Playboy said that the presence of Playboy One in the adult section of the Sky EPG along with features such as PIN protection and channel removal options in the Sky Guide "gave some protection to viewers from coming across its content unawares", but admitted that Jenna's American Sex Star was unsuitable for broadcast "in its current form". It denied, however, that the other shows had breached the code partly because a previous Ofcom bulletin had indicated had not upheld a prior complaint. Ofcom advised that this was the result of "a systems error" in its complaints handling system.

Ofcom decided to issue a fine because "the breaches when taken together demonstrated a serious and repeated failure by the Licensee to comply with the Code".

Playboy One ceased broadcasting in September 2008.
   
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