LONDON: Following the recent spate of British TV phone-in scandals, the hitherto toothless watchdog ICSTIS (Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Inform-ation Services), is to arm itself with a new set of regulatory molars.

In the wake of an embarrassing failure in voluntary regulation [WARC News: 12-Mar-07], the industry-funded body for premium rate telecommunications services aims to get its act together.

The new rules, it claims, will "boost consumer trust and confidence" in quiz TV services. They will ensure that viewers have a clearer understanding of their chances of getting through to programmes, as well as more accurate information about the cost of calls.

ICSTIS is also in process of setting up a consultation to develop an "enhanced prior permission regime" for all broadcast premium-rate services.

This would rectify a major flaw in the current system whereby most such services can be set up without the regulator's prior permission.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff