Image description: The picture shows a strip of ear seeds being held by someone. Laid across the top is a yellow and black notice which says, Warning. The title reads The Mirror: BBC issues warning to Dragons' Den stars over strict guidelines after on air breach. ME Association logo bottom right

BBC bosses issue warning to Dragons’ Den stars over strict guidelines after on air breach

The BBC have confirmed stars of Dragons' Den have been reminded of the broadcaster's ‘clear guidelines' ahead of appearing on the show, following a controversial few weeks for the hit series

Zoe Delany – The Mirror online

Article extracts

The state-funded broadcaster has admitted budding entrepreneurs have been reminded of the “clear guidelines” regarding their commercial activity while appearing on the hit show. The warning comes as several business wannabes have been accused of breaching broadcasting rules after appearing in front of the Dragons.

Over recent weeks, several candidates have been using social media to flog their products and discount codes as their episode of Dragons Den aired – a big breach of the BBC's editorial guidelines. All product placements and adverts must be disclosed and editorially justified before appearing on TV, the BBC's guidelines states.

Speaking about the potential guideline breaches, a BBC spokesperson told the MailOnline:

“We have clear guidelines for contestants and their commercial activity while working with us. We have reminded entrepreneurs of these guidelines.”

Last month, the BBC reinstated a controversial episode of Dragons' Den on iPlayer just days on from axing it from the streaming platform. The episode from January 18 had Giselle Boxer saying she used “diet, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and ear seeds” to get better from M.E. She made a product called Acu Seeds from this.

Giselle's claims sparked outrage from BBC viewers and Action for ME wrote to some important people in the government. They were worried because it seemed like Giselle's product was being sold as a real cure. The BBC took the episode off iPlayer and on January 25th, they said:

“We're taking the concerns raised seriously, so we are reviewing the episode and therefore it's currently not available on iPlayer.”

The BBC has edited the episode and added a warning before you watch it. They say:

“This programme has been edited since broadcast to clarify aspects of the Acu Seeds pitch. Advice should always be sought from a qualified healthcare provider about any health concerns.”

Following the episode, a letter signed by ME campaign groups was sent to Dame Caroline Dinenage, chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, and Steve Brine, chair of the Health and Social Care Committee. The groups expressed their worry about the episode being aired during primetime on BBC One, as they believe it made an “unfounded claim that this form of alternative medicine can cure ME”.

They added: “Sadly, there is currently no known effective treatment for ME. There has been a distinct paucity of research into this disease, compared to other long-term conditions, which means that ME is still without a cure.” They also reminded people to only take medical advice from qualified healthcare professionals and ensure any treatment decisions are evidence-based. The letter urged broadcasters to make sure content is accurate and not misleading or potentially dangerous.

More media stories

The Sun: BBC forced to warn Dragons' Den stars over strict guidelines after contestants ‘breach rules' while on air |

Daily Mail: BBC forced to crack down on Dragon's Den stars ‘after they breach rules' by plugging discount codes to flog their products after shows

Birmingham Mail: BBC issues warning to Dragons' Den stars over strict guidelines after on air breach

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