The X Factor breached broadcasting rules by giving excessive plugs to the hotel where the show’s finalists stayed, the broadcasting watchdog ruled.
Ofcom examined an episode of the hit ITV talent show from October that showed the finalists arriving at the Corinthia Hotel in central London.
The hotel was mentioned in eight out of the 13 pre-recorded introductions for the different acts including one featuring the eventual winner, James Arthur, describing the hotel as “absolutely amazing”.
Fellow contestant Rylan Clark was seen exploring a room and saying “Oh my God, James, it's massive” and “There's a phone in the toilet.”
There were also shots of contestants arriving, with close-ups of the hotel sign and its exterior.
The report said the show’s production company paid the hotel “a reduced rate” for rooms and services but did not guarantee it coverage.
Ofcom said it found “the overall number of references to be excessive” and “therefore judged that there was insufficient editorial justification for the repeated references to the hotel during the programme.” Ofcom concluded that “the cumulative effect of these references resulted in the programme as a whole giving undue prominence to the hotel.”
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies