IPA to draft radio ad sales code

A code of practice for radio airtime sales could be in operation by early summer, following a meeting of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s media policy group on Monday.

The IPA has been in discussions with Capital Radio for some time to draft a code of practice for radio sales. The MPG voted this week to formally develop these plans. The initiative is being overseen by BMP DDB Needham joint media director Derek Morris.

IPA director general Nick Philips says discussions arose with Capital because of its dominant position in the radio sales market. According to one estimate, Capital controls about 60 per cent of sales through stations it owns or are represented by its sales subsidiary Media Sales & Marketing.

“There are theoretical worries that can arise when a single company has such a strong market position,” Philips says. Such a company could exploit its position in an aggressive, anti-competitive manner.

However, he is quick to stress there is no evidence to show that such concerns are a legitimate worry regarding Capital’s activities.

Morris will now drive forward discussions with Capital, the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and, ultimately, other radio groups. “We don’t want this initiative seen as a carve up between the IPA and Capital,” Philips adds.

* ISBA has now separated radio from its previously combined TV and radio policy group. Members are yet to be elected.

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