ITV’s This Morning: did Spin to Win competition breach Ofcom rules, how many complaints did it receive?
This Morning has begun a new game segment called ‘Spin to Win’ where viewers can win a chance for their household bills to be paid
Ofcom has received 170 complaints after ITV offered to pay contestants’ energy bills on This Morning’s Spin to Win game.
Viewers were left in shock and branded the show “dystopian” after learning the show offered the chance to win energy bill payments on its new segment.
Presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield made their return to the ITV show on Monday (5 September).
New additions to the prize list saw This Morning covering four months’ worth of energy bills for the winner amid the cost of living crisis.
An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules.”
Schofield asked one caller if he was concerned about his bills, with the man replying: “Oh, major. I’ve got one of these pre-payment meters and it’s absolutely murder.”
Fortunately, the wheel ended up landing on energy bills, with the caller saying: “Oh my god, thank you. Fantastic. What a relief.”
One viewer tweeted: “Paying for viewers’ energy bills just feels wrong. Obviously, it’s a nice incentive, but wow, it just shows the grim reality we’re all living in.”
The clip was shared on social media by journalist Scott Bryan, who wrote: “This Morning has turned completely dystopian and Black Mirror by offering to pay energy bills as a competition prize.”
The wheel comes as it’s predicted that people who pay their energy bills by direct debit will face an 80% increase from £1,971 to £3,549, and those with prepayment meters will see their bills rise from £2,017 to £3,608.
For the next show, the game’s the prize money increased to cover all household bills for the next four months.
Does this breach Ofcom broadcasting rules?
Bryan pointed out that this competition may clash with Ofcom guidelines.
Under guidance notes in section 2 of the Ofcom Broadcasting code, it says: “We would strongly advise broadcasters not to present a monetary prize as a possible resolution of financial difficulty (e.g. as a means of paying off credit card debt). See also Rule 2.1.”
Ofcom has said the segment will need to be first assessed by the Ofcom’s Content Standards Team before a formal investigation can begin.
It has now released its latest complaints report, stating that This Morning’s game received 170 complaints.
An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”
Is Phillip Schofield being used for Russian propaganda?
A post by Sky News has asked “Is Russia using Phillip Schofield for propaganda?”.
The post shares how the Kremlin is targeting energy supply to Western nations in retaliation for unprecedented sanctions imposed in the wake of the Ukrainian war.
A BBC journalist who “watches Russian state TV so you don’t have to” shared a screenshot of a Russian TV show playing the clip of This Morning’s Spin to Win segment.
It appears that Russia has picked up on the cost of living crisis in the UK, with a segment of This Morning’s game appearing on state TV.
ITV declined to comment.