Scope Determination Service: Demand Adult Service provider: Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd
On 9 June 2011 Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd notified the above Service to ATVOD.
On 19 June 2012 Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd wrote to ATVOD stating that Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd intended to move editorial responsibility for the Service to the group’s head office in Canada.
On 21 June we requested further information on the transfer of responsibility for the Service, which we received from Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd on 11 July 2012.
On 24 July Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd confirmed that the transfer of responsibility had been completed (to Playboy Plus Entertainment, Inc in Montreal) and on 9 Sept and 10 Sept provided further evidence (in the form of email correspondence).
Taking all the relevant considerations into account, including the evidence you have provided, ATVOD, as the appropriate regulatory authority, has determined in accordance with section s368A(1) of the Communications Act 2003 that as at 14 September 2012, Playboy TV UK/Benelux Ltd is the provider of the On-Demand Programme Service named above.
The email evidence provided by Playboy UK (Annexes 1 to 3 – REDACTED) does suggest that a process of transfer has been in operation, with correspondence discussing redundancies of staff in the UK and information on access to various sites (including the Service) requested by the head office in Montreal (although the emails refer to http://www.demandadult.com, this appears to redirect to the notified service at http://www.demandadult.co.uk).
However, it is ATVOD’s view that the evidence suggests transfer of editorial responsibility for the Service has not yet been completed.
Written information on the site itself (Annex 4 – REDACTED) as at 14 September 2012 refers to PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd and the associated UK address, and refers to the Terms and Conditions as being government by English law. Domain registration data suggests that Demand Adult is registered not to the Canadian entity but to the US address of Playboy Enterprises International Inc (Annex 5 – REDACTED). Furthermore, the email correspondence from David Cooke of 10 September 2012 (included in Annex 1 above) states that [s]ince Montreal took over, we in the UK have been updating the sites as per the previous editorial plan, which was simply uploading content as it becomes available from the content department….we’re only refreshing with new episodes when they have been transcoded. Montreal…[have] not got around to taking a look at how they might change things more drastically in terms of presentation or sale yet . This strongly suggests that PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd retains editorial responsibility for the Service as defined by s368A(4) of the Act, ie. That PlayboyTV UK / Benelux Ltd still exercises general control over selection and organisation of the programmes constituting the Service. This is further supported by the fact that the overall design and layout of the Service does not appear to have changed in any significant details (Annex 6 – REDACTED).
Should circumstances change, with a full transfer of editorial responsibility to an entity outside the UK, then ATVOD will of course consider any evidence relevant to a new request to withdraw notification of the Service.