More than 1,000 viewers complained after it was revealed stunt dog Chase was used for part of Jules and Matisse’s act AFTER the final.
And now Ofcom has ruled the final breached rule 2.14, which states broadcasters must make sure viewers are not “materially misled” about voting or any competition, resulting in ITV offering to refund anyone who paid to vote for the dog act.
An ITV spokesperson said: “The majority of votes cast for Jules’ act were received through the free voting app.
“However, we accept that some viewers who voted for the winning act by a paid voting route may wish to seek a refund, or that the cost of their vote be donated in full to the Royal Variety charity.
“Details about how to obtain a refund, or to request that a refund be donated to the charity, are now on our website.”
ITV has added a ‘refund’ section to the BGT website, on which viewers who voted for the canine act can fill in a form in order to gain a refund.
A statement on the site reads: “In the light of this adjudication, ITV and BGT co-producers Thames and Syco Entertainment have agreed that viewers who voted for the winning act by a paid voting route (ie by landline or mobile, but not via the BGTapp) may wish to seek a refund of the cost incurred in voting, or may wish for the entirety of those costs to be donated to charity (in this case the Royal Variety Charity, which already receives 15p from each BGT phone vote).
“Please enter the details requested in the form below in order to claim your refund, or to request that we donate the amount of the refund to charity.
“All refunds will be sent via cheque to the address stated, and made out to the name provided, once we have verified the details of your telephone or mobile vote(s).
“For avoidance of doubt, viewers who voted by a paid route for any other act in the final of BGT 2015 (ie other than the winning act) are not eligible for a refund or to request donation of a refund.”
ITV have also insisted there was never an intention to “mislead” viewers in the final, in which Jules and Matisse defeated Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy and magician Jamie Raven.
An ITV spokesperson said: ” The Britain’s Got Talent production team apologised at the time for not making it clearer to the judges and viewers at home that three dogs were involved in the final performance.
“There was never any intention to mislead viewers and in their decision Ofcom said they ‘have no reason to believe that there was any intention to deceive viewers that the tightrope walk actually involved a second dog.’