The BBC has banned TomTom from continuing to sell sat navs featuring Jeremy Clarkson’s voice.
The deal between Clarkson and the BBC was originally set up by BBC Worldwide, which is the BBC’s commercial arm and is responsible for selling the rights to programmes such as Top Gear to other television networks in the UK and abroad.
However, when BBC Worldwide tried to clear the deal with the BBC’s editorial policy advisers, they were told that it was an unacceptable conflict of interest for Clarkson to appear to endorse individual motoring products, since he presents a motoring programme.
According to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, presenters:
“must take particular care not to endorse any product or service which could be covered in the programmes on which they work”
Clarkson Sat Navs Still In Stock
If you fancy a TomTom with Jeremy Clarkson’s voice (and with Stig mode, which is silent), then the good news is that TomTom has already distributed 54,000 of them to retailers around the world.
Halfords still has lots in stock, although a Halfords spokesman said:
“While we have plenty of stock at the moment we will not be able to replace them when they are gone…”
To avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, BBC Worldwide will be donating all money from the sale of the TomTom sat navs to BBC Children In Need. TomTom will also be making a donation and Jeremy Clarkson will not receive any money from the sale of the devices.