Who Wants to be a Millionaire? is facing the axe because of an EU ban on competitions with prizes of more than £70,000. ITV’s flagship show…is among programmes hit by the proposed law designed to boost faltering state lotteries.
(Daily Mirror, 3 May 2003, pages 1)
Commission proposals governing the use of sales and marketing promotions by companies are currently under consideration by the European Council. During this process, the Greek presidency tabled an amendment to the Commission’s proposals, stating that:
“Individual prizes awarded in promotional games may not exceed one hundred thousand euros.” The Commission strongly opposed this change and eventually the amendment was dropped. In any case, this limit would never have applied to Millionaire, a contest based purely on skill, and therefore not a “promotional game” as defined in the proposals.
The proposals, aimed at freeing up the EU market for companies whilst ensuring consumers remain properly informed and protected, remain at the Council stage.