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UK regulators denounce TV network's 'misleading' use of  ARMA II  footage

UK regulators denounce TV network's 'misleading' use of ARMA II footage

January 23, 2012 | By Mike Rose

UK regulatory authority board Ofcom has ruled that major UK TV network ITV misled viewers last year when it labeled a clip from the game ARMA II as real-life footage of the IRA shooting down a helicopter.

ITV aired a documentary in September called "Exposure - Gaddafi and the IRA," which aimed to expose ousted libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi's support for the Republican terrorists.

However, during the documentary, a clip was shown that supposedly showed a helicopter being shot down, with the label 'IRA Clip 1988' -- yet this clip was actually a fan-made video from Bohemia Interactive's tactical shooter Arma II.

At the time, Bohemia CEO Marek Spanel said that ITV did not have permission to include this clip in the documentary, while an ITV spokesperson admitted that the clip was included as "an unfortunate case of human error."

Ofcom has now said that it is "greatly concerned" that ITV did not authenticate the footage before running it, reports the BBC.

The company said that there were clearly "significant and easily identifiable differences" between the video game footage and the actual incident, and that it was "very surprised that the program makers believed the footage of the helicopter attack was authentic."

It also noted that it was "not sufficient for a broadcaster or program 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."

Ofcom said that ITV was in breach of the broadcasting code as a result, although it added, "We take into account that ITV apologized, removed the program 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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