Jamie Oliver show rapped over product plugCelebrity chef falls foul of TV rules
12 February 2008
Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 cookery series has been criticised for breaching TV rules after the celebrity chef plugged a product in his own kitchen utensil range.
Viewers complained to broadcast regulator Ofcom after Mr Oliver made references to and demonstrated the use of the 'Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker'.
Ofcom said two episodes of the 'Jamie at Home' series – made by Mr Oliver's own TV company - breached TV guidelines which state ‘undue prominence’ must not be given to any product or service.
In one episode last September, Mr Oliver referred to the product by name before spending almost two minutes demonstrating how to make oregano oil with it.
During the segment, there were several close-up images of the utensil as the ingredients were placed into it and two shots of Mr Oliver shaking it.
There were also two further images of the Flavour Shaker left open on the chopping board, full and then empty.
During another episode in October there was a further reference to the Flavour Shaker.
Channel 4 agreed the two episodes included references to the utensil and that they were unduly prominent.
However, it argued that the use of the Flavour Shaker in the series was editorially justified, and stressed that references were made to other products such as a pestle and mortar or food processor which could achieve a similar result.
It added that no direct references were made to the Flavour Shaker being better than other devices and it said there was no specific call to buy the product.
However, Ofcom said the focus on the product went beyond the level of prominence usually given to a basic kitchen utensil.
It added that Channel 4 had also failed to check the programme complied with the broadcasting code.
Channel 4 said it would now apply closer scrutiny to programmes bought from other companies.