Will ITV Sue Channel 4 over Corry Stars “Fake Products” Promo?

ITV Corry stars Brooke Vincent and Catherine Tyldesley allegedly promoted fake products on Twitter, and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme is all over it. Will ITV sue Channel 4 over the Corry stars fake product promotions on Twitter? Or are they just threatening to do so?

Will ITV Sue Channel 4
Will ITV Sue Channel 4

I’m looking forward to tonight’s screening of a Dispatches special: Celebs, brands and fake fans, not least because ITV threatened to sue Channel 4 should it be broadcast.

ITV was upset that some Coronation Street actors were the victims of a sting operation in which they evidently agreed to promote fake products. It accused Dispatches of “shoddy journalism.”


Andrew Garard, ITV’s group legal director, wrote to Channel 4: “As a public service broadcaster, I am amazed you would consider broadcasting these allegations… I am astounded that this programme would be broadcast by you on Dispatches at all.”

Garard accused Matchlight, the production firm responsible for the programme, of attempting to entice young Coronation Street actors into tweeting about fake products by sending them messages on social networks.

He said ITV’s lawyers, Olswang, had made it clear to Matchlight that if such allegations were broadcast then ITV would sue for libel.

This smelled to me of bluster and it’s no wonder that Channel 4responded by saying it would go to air as planned.

So what has happened to that libel threat? Has ITV yet had second thoughts? Several attempts to get an answer from ITV throughout the morning got nowhere. I couldn’t reach Garard, no-one else in the legal department was prepared to talk about it and the designated press officer didn’t call back.


Channel 4 was a little more forthcoming, repeating that it stood by its journalism and would defend it.

I’m not too surprised at ITV’s reticence. It’s always embarrassing to see one freedom-loving media organisation issuing legal threats against another freedom-loving media organisation. And it will be even more embarrassing if, having made the threat, it then proves its hollowness by not proceeding with it.

Anyway, lest you forget to tune in (or need reminding to set the recorder), Celebs, brands and fake fans starts at 8pm. Its main target is social media dishonesty.

Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2013/aug/05/coronation-street-channel4

Will ITV sue Channel 4‘s Dispatches if it airs an undercover sting purporting to show Coronation Street actors promoting bogus products on Twitter in breach of marketing rules? Well let’s see!

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