Patel bags comms job at phone line watchdog

ICSTIS, the premium rate phone line watchdog, has ushered in a new head of comms following the introduction of tougher regulations for TV quiz shows.

The non-for-profit organisation is cracking down on premium phone services following concern that consumers are being ripped off by TV phone-in competitions.

Parool Patel started last week and his remit will cover stakeholder and media relations with a specific focus on raising awareness of premium rate services among children and young people.

Patel was previously a communications consultant at the Departments for Food and Rural Affairs.

His last permanent role was head of communications at the Quality Improvement Agency for lifelong learning. Patel was also head of PR for News Corporation’s Star News and Star Plus channels when they launched digital versions.

ICSTIS will be rebranded later this year, after Ofcom’s decision that the body should regulate 0871 numbers from early 2008.

As previously reported in PRWeek, ICSTIS is seeking a PR agency and boutique agencies for specific projects.

Channel 4, which is being investigated over allegations of irregularities on a Richard and Judy phone-in, has halved the cost of its Big Brother eviction voting and will not make any profit from phone services this year.

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