Playboy has been slapped down by media regulator Ofcom and hit with fines totalling £100,000 after the watchdog found that two of its websites, Playboy TV and Demand Adult, had allowed under-18s to view explicit adult material willy nilly.
The issue dates back to May and July last year, after the regulator discovered the sites had not put restrictions in place to ensure that under 18-year-olds could not access their content.
Unlike other porn sites, these both are regulated by Ofcom and its concurrent regulator, the Authority for Video On Demand (ATVOD). This is because they provide access to videos in a similar way to adult services broadcast on television – and fall within UK jurisdiction.
Ofcom concluded that Playboy’s failure to protect children from potentially accessing these sites was “serious, repeated and reckless.”
These fines follow Ofcom’s decision in December to fine the online adult content website Strictly Broadband £60,000 for failing to have effective controls in place to verify that users of the site were aged 18 or over.
Playboy TV is no stranger to sanctions by UK regulators. In 2011, Playboy TV was fined £110,000 by Ofcom for advertising its adult sex chat services in a way that was “against generally accepted moral, social or cultural standards”.
Meanwhile, late last year the Advertising Standards Authority banned a Playboy ad showing scantily-clad women, which had appeared on the side of a lorry.
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