Derek Acorah was investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority just weeks before he died after being accused of bombarding members of the public with misleading online posts.
The wife of the television host and clairvoyant announced he had died on Friday night following a short illness at the age of 69.
Last year, Derek came under fire after members of the public complained to the advertising watchdog over misleading and relentless ‘spam’ content from the star.
People came forward to complain after being offered free readings from the TV star in exchange for liking his Instagram page – only to then receive multiple messages about his products and messages saying dead relatives wanted to speak with them.
An investigation was launched after three complaints were received by the Advertising Standard Authority last September.
One of the complainants claimed she had received 17 messages from the star – branding the repeated notices as “relentless”.
According to the Daily Star, one of the messages read: “Derek here, your loved ones in the Spirit world have a message waiting for you! What is it & who is it from? Text ‘DEREK’ to 85358! £1/per msg, max 3, terms apply.”
A spokesperson for Derek at the time said in a statement that Derek: “would never intentionally mislead any member of the public and has received assurances that all social media activities are within the rules”.
On 4 December 2019, however, the Advertising Standards Association reached an “informal resolution” over the complaints – which suggests a breach of advertising rules may have been committed.
“We will, where it is appropriate, resolve issues informally,” the ASA writes.
“For example where a minor or clear cut breach of the Advertising Codes has been made, we might issue advice and guidance on how to comply with the rules of the Codes or seek an assurance that an advertiser will change or withdraw their ad straight away,” they continue.
“Informally resolved cases are not put before the ASA Council and no ruling is published, so it means we can resolve problems far more quickly than by formal investigation,” they state.