MTV has been rapped on the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after 22 alcohol adverts appeared in eight episodes of Geordie Shore.
The ASA Compliance team decided to investigate whether it was appropriate to schedule alcohol ads during the episodes of Geordie Shore because audience indexing data indicated they were likely to appeal to viewers under 18 years of age.
In response to the investigation MTV said that it had made no attempts to make Geordie Shore appeal to under 18s given its "extreme content". The broadcaster said it takes its responsibility to ensure that children are not overly exposed to alcohol advertising "extremely seriously" and claimed that it maintained a level of compliance beyond the standard of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising.
MTV added that it had a scheduling process in place and alcohol ads were not scheduled before 9pm. There was also a content warning before the start of Geordie Shore and after each break that advised that the show was unsuitable for children.
Despite this the ASA said that broadcasters should use the best available data to determine if a programme was likely to appeal particularly to audiences below the age of 18. MTV was told to act upon changes in the audience index data.
The MTV investigation forms a wider monitoring exercise by the ASA in order to test the response of broadcasters to the BCAP Code.