Jamie Oliver has been criticised by Ofcom for plugging a product in his own range on Jamie at Home.

Viewers complained to the broadcasting watchdog after Jamie made repeated references to and demonstrated the use of the Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker in the Channel 4 series.

Jamie’s TV company, Fresh One Productions, made the series, featuring his recipes and gardening tips. Ofcom has ruled that two episodes fell foul of TV guidelines that rule ‘undue prominence’ mustn’t be given to any product/service.

Jamie makes money from his £15 Flavour Shaker, which mixes ingredients into marinades.

On the September 18 episode last year, Jamie referred to the product by name before spending almost two minutes demonstrating how to make an oil with it. There were several close-ups of it.

During the October episode, while Jamie prepared another meal, there was another verbal and visual reference to it. In the September episode Jamie did tell viewers they could use a food processor or pestle and mortar instead.

But Ofcom stated the references were ‘unduly prominent and consequently in breach’ of the broadcasting code.

“Overall the focus on the product went beyond the level of prominence usually given to a basic kitchen utensil”, it said.

It ruled there was ‘insufficient editorial justification for the combined way’ the utensil was referred to and shown. Ofcom said Channel 4 had failed to check the programme complied with the code.

Channel 4 said it would apply closer scrutiny to programmes bought from other companies. It admitted the references were ‘unduly prominent’ but argued the use of the utensil was editorially justified.