Ofcom clears Tulisa's X Factor arm salute - but raps Xtra Factor for 'undue prominence'

Tulisa Contostavlos

Media regulator Ofcom has today cleared complaints alleging that X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos' trademark 'arm salute' unduly promoted her perfume.

The N-Dubz star held her right arm up during introductions in the show's live stages last year, showing off a tattoo that says 'The Female Boss'.

Eleven people complained that the gesture broke rules banning undue prominence begin given to a certain product.

In response, Channel TV - the broadcaster responsible for The X Factor's compliance - pointed out that Tulisa's fragrance is actually called 'TFB by Tulisa' and that its logo is set in a graffiti-style font, so viewers were unlikely to confuse it with her script-style tattoo, which she's had for several years.

"Ofcom considered that Tulisa's salute did not promote, or give undue prominence to Tulisa's perfume, which we noted has a different name," the body said. "This material was therefore not in breach of the [Broadcasting] Code."

However, Ofcom did uphold one complaint regarding a discussion with Tulisa about her fragrance and arm gesture on spin-off show The Xtra Factor. During the segment, host Caroline Flack said: "Your perfume came out this week, and I've been wearing it all day by the way."

Co-host Olly Murs replied: "I wondered why you were smelling so nice."

Channel TV argued that it was common for judges and guests to refer to their latest ventures, and that any 'promotional benefit' was reduced by Flack, who incorrectly called the perfume 'The Female Boss'.

But Ofcom ruled that the duo's comments implied an unfair endorsement. "We noted one of the presenters wrongly referred to the perfume as, 'your perfume, The Female Boss'. After this, the other presenter not only endorsed the product but then observed that both Tulisa's perfume and her salute were 'catching on.'

"Ofcom considers that this gave undue prominence to her perfume. Further, Ofcom considered that, in light of the undue prominence given to the product by the sequence as a whole and, in particular, Olly Murs' endorsement of it, the sequence appeared to promote Tulisa's perfume."

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