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ITV's Lorraine criticised for letting Dannii Minogue promote milk product

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ITV's Lorraine has been criticised by Ofcom for allowing Dannii Minogue to promote a new milk product she was associated with on the magazine programme.

The reality TV judge appeared on Lorraine on November 8 last year, discussing her role in the show's forthcoming feature, The Little Black Dress Diet.

Dannii Minogue
outside the ITV studios
London

© WENN

Lorraine Kelly

© ITV



However, this also coincided with the UK launch of A2 milk, an Australian product containing only A2 protein, which Minogue was backing.

Ofcom received a complaint that the five-minute-long interview involved excessive promotion of the milk, including host Lorraine Kelly allowing Minogue to discuss when it was available, the difference between A2 and regular milk, and where the product could be purchased.

The interview included the following sequence:

DM: "As a kid I was never able to drink milk, I didn't even eat ice creams, or do any of that because I just felt..."
LK: "You just didn't like it, a lot of people are like that, just don't like the taste.
DM: "I know, so it's... ah... so it's a new thing that's come here. It only has one protein in it. It's one protein that's not GM-modified or anything. They're just special cows."
LK: "[Laughing] Special cows. Happy cows."
DM: "I like to think that they're in a field with a red rope around them, and sunglasses, and possibly are right divas. Divas! It's out in the supermarket now."
LK: "Well that's great, it obviously works."

ITV told Ofcom that neither it, the programme producer, nor any person connected with Lorraine had received any payment for the references to A2 milk. Nor was there any product placement deal in place on the show.

But the broadcaster admitted that Minogue was "motivated to talk about A2 milk in the interview because of her commercial relationship with the product".

ITV noted that the nature of this commercial relationship was not stated clearly on the show, and instead Minogue discussed the milk as though she had just 'discovered it in Australia'.

Ofcom logo
In its latest Broadcast Bulletin, Ofcom said even though the mention of A2 milk was brief, the overall effect of the mentions and information portrayed was "to promote and endorse A2 milk".

"The manner and language was promotional and Ofcom considered that the information included in the discussion went beyond what would be justified for editorial reasons, even taking into account Dannii Minogue's own health issues with conventional milk," said Ofcom.

"In addition we were concerned that while ITV had submitted that it had been agreed prior to broadcast that 'a passing reference to Dannii's commercial relationship with A2 could be made', there was no indication given to viewers that Dannii Minogue was paid to promote A2 Milk. Ofcom therefore concluded that the references to A2 milk were promotional and unduly prominent."

ITV was guilty of a similar breach recently when Amanda Holden was allowed to make promotional and unduly prominent references to a group of law firms on This Morning.

Ofcom therefore said that it expects the broadcaster to "take further steps to ensure compliance in this area".

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