Monday, January 25, 2010

Westlife fire lasers into people's eyes

Westlife's appearance on the X Factor has been the focus of an upheld complaint to Ofcom, as it turns out their flashing light show could have triggered epileptic fits amongst the audience:

Ofcom tested this segment of the programme against its published Guidance
concerning PSE. It found that for two sequences during the Westlife performance,
lasting just over three seconds in total, it contained flashing where the brightness,
frequency and screen areas exceeded the “intensity” limits as set out in the
Guidance. The sequences contained flashing at an average rate of approximately 15
flashes per second (the limit in Ofcom’s Guidance being no more than three flashes
per second).

It's a difficult balance - obviously, you have to consider viewers who are sensitive to flashing images, but on the other hand: how do you make something like Westlife interesting, assuming setting fire to them is illegal?

Also in the latest Ofcom complaints: A Cornwall-based radio station ran a competition offering valuables as prizes. The station said they were worth £100; they turned out to be worth less than half that. People complained, the station apologised and fixed the error.

However, given the station was Pirate FM, would people not be expecting some sort of buccaneering trickery? If you tuned in to Radio Highwayman or Talk Cutpurse, you'd be on your guard; surely the same should be true of a company which trades under the name of a group of brigands?