The basic principles underpinning any Channel 4 gameshow, or content that includes a quiz or competition element, include:
- Fairness – all participants/contributors must be treated fairly and equally.
- Transparency – the rules must be clear. All participants must be given clear information to enable them to fully understand the principles underlying the quiz (sometimes called the mechanic) and the basis upon which the winner(s) will be decided.
The following sets out guidance on how to comply with these basic principles.
Rules or terms and conditions
There must be a clear set of rules for quizzes, competitions or game shows. These must set out what is expected of participants and the terms of their participation. It is important to ensure that each participant has read, fully understood and accepted the rules in advance of taking part. Subsequent substantive changes which impact the fairness of the quiz, competition or game show must be reflected in the rules. You should take advice from your content lawyer/compliance advisor on whether you need to re-issue the rules to all participants.
The rules must be clear to ensure that all key elements of the quiz, competition or game show are well documented. For example, depending on the format, you may need to consider how participants are selected, how long they have to answer each question, how points are allocated/scored, and when prize money will be paid and/or prizes awarded.
Questions and answers should be accurate and appropriate in subject matter and tone for audience expectations. Depending on the profile of the content and the value of the prize, questions and answers will need to be verified by two reliable independent sources and appropriate records kept.
If you are in any doubt about the editorial content of the questions you are setting, please refer to your commissioning and Legal & Compliance contacts as early as possible.
Format or quiz mechanic
Care must be taken to ensure the format of the quiz is fair and participants are treated honestly. You may need to engage the services of an adjudicator, who is independent from the content creator, to oversee elements of the quiz, for example to ensure a random selection process is demonstrably fair and the content creator has not influenced the outcome.
Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure contributors are screened in advance to ensure only suitable contributors take part, e.g. by carrying out background and social media checks. Please speak to your commissioning and Legal & Compliance contacts to discuss appropriate checks to be carried out.
Prizes must be described with due accuracy.
If you wish to have your prizes donated, you must discuss this with your Legal & Compliance contact in advance as separate considerations will apply.
See also the 'Competition and vote guidance' for further information.
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