Europes first ethnic oriented TV channel Ben TV has been fined £25,000 after repeatedly showing a programme that invited viewers to order “free miracle spring water” that impose health risks.
An Ofcom investigation found that Peter Popoff Ministries which featured footage from religious services conducted by televangelist Peter Popoff contained “frequent” invitations for viewers to order “free miracle spring water”.
The regulator found the programme which aired on the channel around January 2018 included a number of testimonies from individuals who claimed, or strongly implied, that using the water had cured serious illnesses, including cancer.
In its report, Ofcom said the claims made in the programme had the potential to cause harm to viewers who were led to believe the so-called miracle water was capable of curing health conditions.
“We concluded that Greener Technology Limited did not take steps to provide adequate protection for such viewers and that there was a material risk that susceptible members of the audience may have been improperly exploited by the programme.”
The promotion of the product itself was enough to be a breach of the broadcasting code. Despite Ben TV failing to disclose a declaimer. Ofcom has also directed the Licensee to not repeat the programme and to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on dates and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.