Psychic channels fined £22.5k after untrue Michael Jackson and Milly Dowler claims
Ofcom fined two television channels a total of £22.5k after they featured psychics making erroneous claims about Michael Jackson and murdered school Milly Dowler.
Following the news yesterday that Sally Morgan received a £125k payout from the Daily Mail for libel, Ofcom held two TV psychics Crystal and Jenna, accountable for their claims.
Psychic Today and Big Deal were in breach of broadcasting rules after they broadcast psychic Crystal incorrectly claiming she was part of the police investigation into the death of Milly Dowler.
Psychic Jenna on the other hand, claimed that she predicted her friend would become close to Jackson, before showing pictures of the pair in his recording studio.
Ofcom declared that both events were in breach of the broadcasting code which states that astrology, horoscopes and tarot readings services should be advertised "for entertainment purposes" only.
Channels such as Psychic Today are forbidden from claiming “efficacy or accuracy" or that they "predict negative experiences or specific events".
One psychic Crystal, mislead viewers: "One of the cases that's actually signed, sealed and delivered and got the seal on it, was the um, oh crikey, uh the Milly Dowler case... I was the one that dealt with that one."
Majestic TV, which runs Psychic Today, told Ofcom that both claims were “factually” correct but admitted that the Milly Dowler reference was unfortunate.
The regulator stated that the offences were serious and repeated and a financial penalty should be imposed. Majestic TV Limited was fined £12,500, while Square 1 Management Limited was handed a £10,000 penalty in respect of its Big Deal service.