ITV Granada, the producers of Coronation Street, are not impressed with Channel 4.
ITV bosses have threatened legal action against Channel 4 over a reported Dispatches investigation, involving a number of Coronation Street actresses.
Earlier today reports emerged that Channel 4 were planning to air a Dispatches programme, accusing the cast members in question of breaking Advertising Standards Authority guidelines.
The Dispatches team launched their undercover investigation back in February at a “gifting event” in Manchester, attended by stars from the long-running ITV serial including Catherine Tyldesley and Brooke Vincent.
After setting up a booth at the event Dispatches proceeded to offer the cast an array of bogus products under fake brand name Puttana Aziendale – which translates from Italian as “corporate whore”.
The team wanted to see whether the cast members would then promote these products on Twitter in turn breaking ASA guidelines, which state that plugs for freebies should be clearly marked as adverts.
Footage shot for the Channel 4 investigation apparently shows cast members in a negative light demanding handfuls of free goods in exchange for tweets or photographs and behaving like “total divas”.
A source revealed: “Some of them are totally shameless and will clearly do almost anything for a freebie. It throws the murky world of underhand celebrity endorsement deals into the public eye.”
However, ITV bosses have hit back threatening to take legal action should the footage be aired.
A spokesperson for the broadcaster said: “Allegations have been made that are false and highly defamatory.
“ITV have written to the producer threatening legal action if they decide to broadcast the programme.”