The Xtra Factor has been rapped by TV watchdog Ofcom for promoting host Olly Murs’ single and judge Tulisa Contostavlos’ perfume.

The ITV2 show presented a feature about the perfume in October, three days after the scent was launched. Co-host Caroline Flack told viewers: “The Female Boss came out this week, and I’ve been wearing it all day, by the way.”

Presenter Olly responded: “I wondered why you were smelling so nice”, and then told Tulisa: “Your perfume isn’t the only thing that’s been catching on.”

The presenters then mimicked Tulisa’s Female Boss salute, which has seen the N-Dubz star thrusting forward her right forearm as she walked onto The X Factor stage, before showing photographs of viewers and celebrities doing the same.

Ofcom said the programme was in breach of broadcasting guidelines on the promotion of products, services and trademarks.

In November, the programme showed a viewer holding a hand-written note to camera telling people to download Olly’s new single. Olly and Caroline also chatted about the single, as crew members held placards stating ‘Dance With Me Tonight out now’.

Ofcom said that ‘numerous audible and visual references were made to Olly Murs’ single, and its release’. It added: “The promotional messaging used on the placards and the extent and cumulative effect of the references more generally to the single and its release clearly promoted it, in breach of… the Code.”

The broadcaster said that the scripted references to the single ‘were in keeping with the irreverent tone of the show’.

It said that there was editorial justification for mentioning the release because of Olly’s role as Xtra Factor presenter and his past as an X Factor contestant.

ITV also said that the reference to Tulisa’s perfume was ‘appropriately limited’.