ITV gets slapped wrist over Arma 2 documentary gaff

Program that claimed game footage was IRA attack gets told off

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has finally ruled that the ITV documentary that used Arma 2 game footage disguised as a real life IRA attack is in breach of broadcasting rules.


Last year's documentary, 'Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA', caused furore for displaying the in-game footage showing soldiers bringing down a helicopter, and claiming it was actually undercover video of a real IRA attack.

Unsurprisingly Ofcom was quickly drafted in, and it's finally decided it's not too pleased about the 2011 incident, noting that Rule 2.2 of the Communications Act of 2003 was breached and that this represented a "significant breach of audience trust, particularly in the context of a public service broadcaster."

"It is not sufficient for a broadcaster or programme maker to rely on footage provided by a third-party source, on the basis that that source had previously supplied other broadcasters with archive footage, and fail to confirm the details of archive film provided," said Ofcom.

"We take into account that ITV: apologised; removed the programme from its catch-up video-on-demand service; and, has now put in place various changes to its compliance procedures to ensure such incidents do not happen in future.

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"However, the viewers of this serious current affairs programme were misled as to the nature of the material they were watching. In the circumstances, this represented a significant breach of audience trust, particularly in the context of a public service broadcaster.

"As such, Ofcom considered the programme to be materially misleading, in breach of Rule 2.2. Ofcom was particularly concerned by this compliance failure by ITV. We do not expect any issues of a similar nature to arise in future."

ITV's been given a week's detention then, though it promises new systems will be put in place to make sure we don't see similar mistakes happen again, such as Iran calling in Metal Gears to enforce public order.

[ SOURCE: Tech Radar ]