Playboy Fined in U.K. for Failing to Block Children From Hardcore Pornography
Regulators dished out a $167,000 penalty after Playboy's Demand Adult and Playboy TV's website were found to fail to shut out children from accessing hardcore content.
LONDON – The U.K. media watchdog has come down hard on Playboy, dishing out a $167,0000 (£100,000) fine for offering hardcore videos and pornographic images on a pair of websites that could be accessed by minors.
The British media regulator said that the adult pay TV company's failure to have proper controls to stop children from accessing two of its websites was "serious, repeated and reckless."
Ofcom found that Playboy did not have acceptable web controls to check that users accessing the porn sites were age 18 or over. Controls that can be used include asking users for credit card details, which are not available to those under 18.
The regulator found that Playboy's "Demand Adult" homepage carried hardcore pornographic material that was able to be viewed by anyone going to the site.
With a bank card, Ofcom also noted that extra pornographic material could be accessed.
The regulator fined Demand Adult $104,000 (£65,000) while dishing out a $63,000 (£35,000) penalty to the Playboy TV website.
The Playboy TV website required users to self-certify age, but the homepage material was not as explicit as that on Demand Adult.
Ofcom declared the bank card accessing system as an ineffective age-verification system as children under 18 can use them.
"We concluded that Playboy's failure to protect children from potentially accessing these sites was serious, repeated and reckless," said Ofcom in a statement.
It's not the first time Playboy has found itself in hot water with the British watchdog.
In 2011, the Playboy TV channel was fined $177,000 (£110,000) for broadcasting a series of television ads for its adult sex-chat services featuring "presenters" beckoning viewers with sexual gestures.