The X Factor 2011: Tulisa’s tattoo prompts Ofcom investigation

N-Dubz singer accused of giving undue prominence to her perfume brand, The Female Boss

Ofcom has launched an investigation into a potential breach of the broadcasting code relating to Tulisa Contostavlos’s arm tattoo.


The N-Dubz singer has overtly displayed the tattoo, which reads “The Female Boss”, as part of her entrance to almost every one of The X Factor live shows since joining as a judge for the eighth series of the programme earlier this year.

However, last month, the 23-year-old launched a perfume brand called the The Female Boss, prompting viewers to complain that ITV and the singer were giving undue prominence to the brand.

The broadcasting regulator told it had received three complaints regarding Tulisa’s tattoo relating to ITV1’s The X Factor and ITV2’s The Xtra Factor.

In a recent edition of The Xtra Factor, a pre-recorded segment discussed Tulisa’s tattoo, her perfume and showed a clip highlighting the connection between the two.

Articles 9.4 and 9.5 of the broadcasting code state that “products, services and trademarks must not be promoted in programming” and “no undue prominence may be given in programming to a product, service or trademark” except where there are specific exceptions.


Last year, Ofcom received over 3,000 complaints relating to sexy performances by Rihanna and Christina Aguilera as part of The X Factor results shows.  Although the complaints were not upheld, the incident acted as one of the catalysts for the media regulator to issue new guidance on the broadcast of sexualised material before the 9pm watershed.