Playboy fined £100,000 by Ofcom over slack age controls for explicit videos

Playboy fined £100,000 by Ofcom over slack age controls for explicit videos
Reckless failure to protect children, said Ofcom

Playboy's UK websites have been slapped (oo-er!) with a whopping £100,000 fine for failing to provide adequate age controls on explicit material.

The world's most famous purveyor of nudity had offered access to explicit videos from its Playboy TV and Demand Adult portals, without users having to prove their date of birth.

Government regulator Ofcom said the company's "I am over 18" button was not a suitable age verification mechanism and accused Playboy UK of failing to protect children.

In a verdict published on Wednesday Ofcom concluded that: "Playboy's failure to protect children from potentially accessing these sites was serious, repeated and reckless."

Why Ofcom?

You're probably wondering wondering why Ofcom, the government's communications watchdog, has any juristiction over the way Playboy conducts its online business.

The regulator explained in its verdict: "Unlike other pornographic websites, [Playboy's] websites are regulated by Ofcom and its concurrent regulator, the Authority for Video On Demand (ATVOD).

"This is because they provide access to videos in a similar way to adult services broadcast on television – and fall within UK jurisdiction"

Playboy is only the second provider of 'art videos' to be penalised by Ofcom. In December 2012, it fined the Strictly Broadband adult website £60,000 for committing a similar offence.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.