Babecall is interactive adult chat advertising broadcast on the service Meet the Babes, which is available as part of a standard satellite subscription package. The content consists
of presenters inviting viewers to contact them via premium rate telephony services (PRS).
Meet the Babes is available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of electronic programme guides
('EPGs'). The licence for the service is held by Escape Channel Limited.
Ofcom received a complaint about physical interaction between a presenter and a member of the production team. The presenter -- who was nude apart from ankle
boots and red bra-style lingerie which provided no cover over her breasts -- was positioned on all fours side-on to the camera and appeared to touch her genital area on several occasions during the broadcast. At 00:12:40 the presenter removed the red
A section of dialogue was followed by several shots of a partially obscured man (the producer), positioned behind the presenter. Only the man's clothed arm and chest were visible intermittently. Over a period of eight
minutes the man stroked and lightly slapped the presenter's buttocks. During this eight-minute period the presenter appeared to simulate that she was engaging in sexual acts with the producer who was positioned behind her and, briefly, in front of her,
as she knelt in front of him.
Ofcom considered BCAP Rule 4.2:
Advertisements must not cause serious or widespread offence against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards.
Ofcom decision: Breach of BCAP rule 4.2
Ofcom's published guidance on the advertising of PRS adult chat services (the Chat Service Guidance) sets out what Ofcom considers to be acceptable to
broadcast on these services post-watershed. The Guidance states that licensees should: at no time broadcast images of any real or simulated sex acts; take particular care if two or more presenters appear together on-screen. If there is any contact
between the presenters of an erotic or sexual nature (for example kissing, stroking or contact between thighs, breasts or genital areas) or any miming or simulation of a sexual act performed by one presenter on another, in Ofcom's view there is a high
risk of causing serious or widespread offence against generally accepted standards; and at no time broadcast anal, labial or genital areas or broadcast images of presenters touching their genital or anal areas either with their hand or an object.
In this case, while the producer was not a presenter, in Ofcom's view the female presenter clearly intended viewers to think that she was taking part in sexual acts with a partner. This was reinforced by the presenter's statement
before the physical interaction occurred. Further, the presenter was nude and positioned on all fours, side-on to the camera with the producer behind her. The Licensee disputed the strength of the physical contact between the presenter and producer and
considered that it considered the material complied with requirements of BCAP Rule 4.2. In our view the contact was clearly intended to be sexual in nature given the other relevant factors, in particular: the presenter's preceding statements to camera,
the position of the producer behind the nude presenter and the reaction of the presenter once the producer joined her on set (i.e. thrusting and rocking) to imply interaction of a sexual nature
Our Decision is that this material
was in breach of BCAP Code Rule 4.2