Dennis Verrios, chief executive of tentendigital - which helped create the service with C4 - denied this: 'There is always controversy over the red button on Sky but to be honest we got less complaints than we expected. We haven't collated the figures on usage yet but they look high.'
But founder of pressure group logofreetv.org Ed Wilson was not convinced: 'It is onscreen advertising and it is aimed at children. It is not a public service and doesn't enhance programmes.' More than 100 members of his organisation complained to C4 about the red button.
A spokesman for the ITC confirmed that the body had received an official complaint which it will investigate.
C4 insisted it meets all ITC regulations. It denied the service was aimed at children and insisted it was fully compliant with ITC regulations.
Four Active, launched with BSkyB, offers up and coming programme information. For Big Brotherit also offers alternative live video streams and voting options. Viewers will also be able to access shopping and banking services, as well as email, through the TV. It will form the basis of all future C4 interactive projects and applications.