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Feb 01 2016

Good Thinking’s complaint against Peter Popoff infomercials upheld

Last year we reported on our lengthy investigation into Peter Popoff and his current business soliciting donations from members of the public via false promises of miraculous health and wealth.

Part of our investigation involved complaints about the broadcasting of infomercials in which Mr Popoff advertises his ‘miracle water’, some of which are broadcast via a TV channel based in Iceland. Recently, Iceland’s Ministry of the Interior’s Media Committee upheld our complaint, as The Reykjavik Grapevine highlighted today:

British File Complaint About Icelandic Televangelist Channel

Broadcasts in Britain from an Icelandic company of a controversial faith healer have been found to violate Icelandic law. Peter Popoff, the televangelist in question, professes to be a modern prophet of God and to have the ability to cure illnesses.

RÚV reports that the controversy began with a formal complaint filed by a spokesperson for the Good Thinking Society to Ofcom, the UK’s communications supervisory institution. Popoff’s show, which is broadcast in the UK, purports amongst other things that viewers can receive financial rewards directly from God by buying Popoff’s special “miracle mountain water”.

Upon investigation, Ofcom learned that the broadcasts were directed by Gospel Channel Evrópa, a company based in Iceland. Ofcom then filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of the Interior that these broadcasts violate a number of British laws about truth in advertising.

Read the full article

CLARIFICATION AND UPDATE (07/02/16)

We would like to clarify that when Ofcom informed us that the broadcasts were from a company based in Iceland, we forwarded our complaint to Iceland’s Ministry of the Interior. The complaint was upheld because the broadcast was in breach of Article 41 (2) regarding timing of advertisements and teleshopping spots, not because of violations of British laws about truth in advertising.

Following the ruling, the Gospel Channel requested a 4 weeks adjustment time in order to fulfill the contractual engagements related to the Popoff programme. The Board of the Media Commission rejected the request on 3rd February.

We will continue to monitor the situation.