Public supports ITC plans to relax TV ads

The public is broadly in favour of the Independent Television Commission’s (ITC’s) controversial plan to relax TV advertising rules, according to the first major market research into the subject.

CIA’s latest Sensor report reveals overwhelming support for the ITC’s proposal to relax the rules governing the advertising of prescription drugs and personal advice services. Those in favour of continuing the ad ban in these two areas accounted for 11 per cent and three per cent of the sample respectively.

However, 48 per cent of those questioned draw the line at ads for escort services – which the ITC is also proposing to be more lenient about. Seventy-two per cent thought ads for gun clubs were unacceptable, an area which is also under review.

Other areas where the ITC is considering relaxing ad bans include hair loss clinics, with only seven per cent of the sample supporting a continued ban, and pregnancy testing services, with eight per cent in favour of keeping the ban in force.

Advertising to children, which is not up for review, proved relatively unpopular, with 29 per cent in favour of a ban. Some 27 per cent favoured banning ads for alcohol drinks.

There was little support for the reintroduction of tobacco ads on TV, with 47 per cent supporting the ban, which is not up for review.

The ITC plans to delete 16 of the 29 prohibitions set out in its Code of Advertising Standards & Practice. The new rules are expected to be implemented next year, following a consultation period.

The CIA survey was conducted among its 500-strong survey panel, which is drawn from a range of ages and backgrounds.ITC: Overwhelming support.

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