Ofcom reviews radio ad rules

Ofcom is reviewing some of its rules on radio advertising, a move which could provide commercial radio groups with additional revenue at a time when income is under pressure.

The broadcasting watchdog is proposing to relax the rules on content-related promotions, a move which will allow radio stations to broadcast brief promotions for brands directly associated with the programme content.

This could allow stations, for example, to sell a music download just after it has been played.

Other proposals include allowing venue-sponsored outside broadcasts and sponsored listener competition features.

The proposals, under consultation until September 4, follow research carried out by the regulator which showed listeners are open to relevant promotions “so long as editorial independence and transparency are maintained”.

The commercial radio industry is likely to welcome the proposals as the economic downturn puts pressure on advertising revenues.

Recent Radio Advertising Bureau data revealed that advertising revenues dipped 19.5% year on year in the first quarter.

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