'Celebrity Big Brother 2007' Controversy|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

'Celebrity Big Brother 2007' Controversy

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG077
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Channel 4
Industry : Media
Countries : UK

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The Winner Contd...

Industry observers regarded 'Celebrity Big Brother 2007' as one of the most controversial reality shows. They wondered whether Channel 4 would be able to profitably run such reality shows in the days ahead, given that its sponsors had also withdrawn support until such time as the 'racism' issue was resolved, and it was ensured that it would not crop up again. According to Tim Suter, Partner, Ofcom9, responsible for the regulation of content and certain standards10, "It is not a question of not being able to broadcast serious or challenging material, but if you are going to do that, you really need to make sure that the way you do it is appropriately handled - that you give the context, that you intervene if necessary, that you use fully the battery of tools that Big Brother has available to it."11

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The Show

'Big Brother' was a character in Nineteen Eighty-Four, a novel by the British writer George Orwell. In the futuristic society described in the novel, all the people were under complete surveillance by the authorities, (hence the phrase "Big Brother is watching you").

The first 'Big Brother' television show was developed and shown in the Netherlands in September 1999. It was produced by John de Mol, a Dutch billionaire, and TV production company, Endemol, which had subsidiaries and joint ventures in other countries across the world. In the following year, a version was produced in the UK and subsequently several countries across the world started having their own 'Big Brother' shows (Refer to Exhibit I for the Rules of 'Big Brother').

'Celebrity Big Brother 2007' was the fifth series of the UK reality television series 'Celebrity Big Brother' (CBB) (Refer to Exhibit II for the logo of 'Celebrity Big Brother 2007' (UK)).

The show started in the UK in the year 2000. It was broadcast on some channels like Channel 4, S4C12 and E4 13. In the CBB series, there were a number of celebrity contestants, called 'housemates'...

Excerpts >>

9] Ofcom is the regulator for the communication industries in the UK.

10] It covers the regulatory obligations pertaining to basic standards (protection against harm, offence, and also the protection of accuracy, impartiality, fairness and privacy) that are imposed upon all licensed television and radio broadcasters and the BBC, as well as the special requirements imposed on public service broadcasters (Source: www.ofcom.org.uk).

11] Terri Judd, "Channel 4 Told to Make Triple Apology for Big Brother Racism,"http://news.independent.co.uk, May 25, 2007.

12] Known as "Sianel Pedwar Cymru"in Welsh, S4C is a television channel in Wales.

13] E4 is a British digital television channel launched as a pay-tv companion to Channel 4 on 18 January 2001. The letter "E"stands for the word entertainment, and the channel primarily targets the 16-35 age group.


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