New Ofcom Regulations for Psychic Advertisers

December 30th, 2011 § 2 comments § permalink

British TV regulators issued new rules last week on how psychic services can be advertised on television, and the new rules are tough.

So tough in fact, I’m not sure I see why anyone would bother advertising on TV. And that’s probably the point.

The new Ofcom rules state that:

Television advertisements must not promote psychic practices or practices related to the occult. Psychic and occult-related practices include ouija, satanism, casting of spells, palmistry, attempts to contact the dead, divination, clairvoyance, clairaudience, the invocation of spirits or demons and exorcism.

I’m not sure how satanism got thrown in there. If it’s to be disallowed from the airwaves, it should probably have its own category. It’s a belief system, not an ‘occult’ tool or form of divination.

But the rest of the statement is pretty clear – they don’t want anyone advertising psychic services on TV.

In addition to the above, psychic advertisers must clearly state in their pitch that what they do is ‘for entertainment purposes only’, and that they do not do predictions of any sort.

Furthermore, nothing can be in the ad that could lead someone to think that the psychic is ‘reliable’ or ‘substantiated.’ They don’t allow endorsements.

Most readers I know wouldn’t have nearly enough money to advertise on TV anyway, so I imagine these rules will primarily affect large psychic phone-line and internet companies only.

And I expect they’re meant to target situations where people are duped into paying $4.99/minute to talk to some schmuck they think they saw on TV with recommendations from the stars.

I sympathize with them there, and don’t like that kind of business either. But why pretend psychic advertising is allowed at all.

Clearly it’s not if while trying to sell your services you’re obligated to discredit them at the same time.

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