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icstis forums

The 13th icstis Forum was held at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham. This was icstis' second Forum held outside London and was well-attended by people from of all areas of the industry, but specifically by television broadcasters. 

Mary Symes, icstis Deputy Chairman, chaired the event. She opened the Forum by welcoming all attendees and giving a brief overview of the day ahead.

Paul Whiteing, icstis Deputy Director, updated the Forum on the progress of the 11th Edition of the ICSTIS Code of Practice as well as on the Help Notes that will accompany the Code. He also spoke of the imminent icstis re-branding, outlining the reasons for this change as well as what the process will entail. Paul concluded with an update on the 0871 pre-consultation which closed on 29th September. 

Click here to view Paul Whiteing's presentation.

George Kidd, icstis Director, briefed the meeting on a number of issues, including the 2007/8 icstis Budget and the implementation of service provider information on the icstis website. He also talked about www.phonebrain.org.uk: icstis' new children-oriented website. This iniative, which is being launched on 4th December with the backing of various children's charities, carriers and others, aims to educate and inform children about premium rate so that they can use these services with confidence. George ended by giving a brief reflection on how icstis viewed the forthcoming Ofcom Scope Review, and by introducing Ofcom's Consumer Policy Manager, Bradley Brady. Bradley gave a concise summary on Ofcom's progress on the Scope Review in terms of the consultation process and timetable for the review.

Click here to view George Kidd's presentation.

Next, the audience was shown a ‘Vox Pop' DVD commissioned by icstis, which explored consumer and industry reflections about PRS and the case (or otherwise) for regulation.

Next George Kidd spoke about Call TV. He reflected on the initial popularity and complaints that grew out of this service, which led to icstis issuing a consultation document in September 2005. George outlined the Statement of Expectations which resulted from this consulation and announced a review of the effectiveness and proportionality of the current arrangements.

Click here to view George Kidd's presentation.

Tom Kavanagh, Deputy Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission followed with a presentation titled ‘Prize Competitions and Free Draws.' Tom updated the Forum on the Gambling Commission's consultation on the distinction between lotteries, prize competitions and free draws, which has generated much interest because of what it says about Quiz TV channels in terms of whether these competitions will amount to lotteries under the new law.

Click here to view Tom Kavanagh's presentation.

Questions from the floor centred around legal definitions and proportionality. There were concerns over the level of risk (of prosecution) when service providers/programme-makers made judgements as to the degree of skill in a competition. There were issues over who was liable in a world where ‘service provider' has a distinct meaning under the icstis Code. There were questions about the acceptability of different forms of ‘free entry' routes and on whether there was some percentage (of free entrants) that assuredly took the programme outside of any gambling definition.

Drawing the Forum to a close, Mary Symes thanked all attendees for their participation in what was a particularly interesting and interactive session.

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