Ofcom lets ITV off the hook over Gerrard World Cup goal blunder

Ofcom, so often the scourge of commercial media, has taken a surprisingly lenient approach to ITV’s monumental blunder during the World Cup when ITV HD viewers missed Steven Gerrard’s goal against the USA and instead found themselves watching a commercial for Hyundai.

The regulator says that because ITV “made no commercial gain” from the error it would not punish the broadcaster further, presumably believing that the outrage and embarrassment at the time was punishment enough.

According to ITV a “human error” meant that the wrong button was pressed, thus preventing 1.5 million viewers from seeing one of the few bright spots in England’s appalling World Cup campaign.

ITV told Ofcom that while it couldn’t identify the reason for the blunder, it had called in external consultants to review its operational procedures with Technicolor and would be introducing extra precautions, including placing covers over the relevant buttons.

Many people will feel ITV have been extremely fortunate. Maybe Ofcom should have imposed some radical punishment, perhaps forcing ITV to hand Adrian Chiles back to the BBC.

Like the great Des Lynam before him, Adrian seems to have a lot of trouble, understandably enough perhaps, adjusting to the timing of those pesky ad breaks that interrupt him in full flow.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.