Media regulator Ofcom has ruled that X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos’s trademark arm gesture, with which she greets audiences on the programme, is not in breach of the broadcasting code.
Tulisa found herself in hot water last November after viewers complained to Ofcom that she was using her The Female Boss tattoo to promote her brand of perfume on The X Factor.
But after investigating whether or not her display broke broadcasting regulations about the promotion of commercial products on air, the watchdog ruled in favour of the former N-Dubz star and has given her the green light to continue using the gesture.
Ofcom ruled that the move and tattoo did not give “undue prominence” to the fragrance, which is officially named TFB by Tulisa, and cleared her of any wrongdoing.
However, the talent show’s spin-off series The Xtra Factor was found to be in breach of Ofcom’s code because its presenters, Caroline Flack and Olly Murs, explicitly promoted the perfume on the show.
The regulator particularly objected to an edition of The Xtra Factor broadcast on Sunday 29 October, during which Murs opined that Tulisa’s perfume was “catching on” and said to Contostavlos: “I wondered why you were smelling so nice.”
Murs and The Xtra Factor were additionally found to have broken the rules in promoting his single Dance with Me Tonight during the edition of the show broadcast on Sunday 20 November, which featured appearances by crew members holding “two large bright green placards” promoting the record.
The song was also played as background music during the programme, and the band Jedward were featured running onto the set carrying one of the promotional placards during the broadcast.
“Taken together, Ofcom considered that the extent and cumulative effect of the references to Olly Murs’s music track and its release were unduly prominent for the product,” said Ofcom.
The Xtra Factor was ruled to have broken two rules of the broadcasting code relating to overt promotional messages and undue prominence.