In January 2004, the UK mobile operators published a code of practice for the self-regulation of new forms of content on mobiles. In accordance with the code, commercial content that is sold through a mobile phone (such as a video clip) has to be self-classified by the content provider.
Content that is classified as 18 is only made available to customers that, through age verification, have demonstrated to the mobile operator that they are at least 18 years old. The content provider classifies content as either 18 or 'not classified' in accordance with a framework prepared by the Independent Mobile Classification Body ("IMCB"). If a customer is not satisfied with the way a piece of content has been classified, he or she should first take the issue up with his or her mobile operator. A customer can only take a complaint to the IMCB once the issue has been investigated by the mobile operator.
The code was signed by O2 (UK) Ltd, Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd, T-Mobile UK Ltd, Virgin Mobile Telecoms Ltd, Vodafone Ltd, Hutchison 3G UK Ltd.