Playboy fined for website breach

January 17, 2013 10.29 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Playboy, often seen as the respectable side of adult entertainment, has been fined £100,000 after it allowed children online access to had-core pornography.

The fine by media regulator Ofcom was imposed on Playboy TV/ Benelux Ltd for “serious, repeated and reckless” breaches of rules enforced by co-regulator, the Authority for Television on Demand.

ATVOD rules require UK porn-on-demand websites keep hardcore porn behind effective access controls that ensure they cannot be viewed by under 18s.

Research carried out on behalf of the VOD regulator found 88% of British adults think it important sites adhere to steps as set put in ATVOD guidance.

ATVOD last year investigated 23 notified ‘adult’ services, finding 13 to be in breach of the statutory rules because they featured hard-core porn material which could be accessed by under 18s.

Two of those found to be in breach have now closed and eight have made themselves compliant by placing all hardcore material behind an effective access control mechanism. Four services which failed to make changes according to the timetable set by ATVOD were referred to Ofcom, and three have now been fined a total of £160,000. Further investigations are ongoing.