Jeremy Stern counts dance votes, Strictly

The Jewish Chronicle - - People -

Strictly Come Danc­ing to­mor­row night, spare a thought for busi­ness­man Jeremy Stern. His job is to count, over­see and ver­ify all the phone votes placed by view­ers.

Mr Stern, 47, runs Lon­don-based com­pany Promo Ver­i­tas, which acts as the in­de­pen­dent pro­mo­tional ver­i­fi­ca­tion ser­vice for brands and broad­cast­ers. Clients in­clude Shell, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft and the BBC, specif­i­cally the broad­caster’s Strictly

Come Danc­ing se­ries. He tells Peo­ple: “When you hear the an­nounce­ment: ‘The lines have now closed and the votes are be­ing counted and ver­i­fied,’ that’s me. We are in the stu­dio looking at the screens mak­ing sure the vot­ing pro­cesses are se­cure and fairly con­ducted. We can’t make a mis­take. It’s a big re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Mr Stern spent sev­eral years work­ing in the fast mov­ing con­sumer goods in­dus­try be­fore set­ting up Promo-Ver­i­tas in 2002. “I re­alised that while com­pa­nies wanted to do things right, they didn’t know how to.” The com­pany en­sures com­pli­ance with the lat­est Of­com li­cence reg­u­la­tions, while re­as­sur­ing the pub­lic that de­spite re­cent bad press, ver­i­fied pro­mo­tions are fair.

What did he make of the ITV phone-vot­ing scan­dal, which saw the break­fast broad­caster ad­mit to tak­ing calls from view­ers for two years in phone-in com­pe­ti­tions that they had no chance of winning?

“That was a long-term prob­lem caused by ITV not re­al­is­ing that they were op­er­at­ing pro­mo­tions. The main is­sue was with GMTV, which ran the pro­mo­tion to 9am but picked the win­ner at 8am. Now they are le­git­i­mate but then they were a law unto them­selves.”

Is he al­lowed to vote? No. Be­sides, he says, there isn’t time.


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