Ofcom launches TV ad trading review

Ofcom has launched a review into competition in the TV advertising trading market in the UK.

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The regulator will consult on whether or not to refer the UK TV advertising market to the Competition Commission for investigation.

Ofcom will focus the consultation on the way airtime is sold by broadcasting sales houses and purchasd by media buyers and advertisers and the commercial relationships between stakeholders at all levels of the supply chain.

The review will establish whether the way TV adveritsing is currently bought and sold prevents, restricts or distorts competition and whether this has a detrimental effect on consumers.

About £4bn is currently spent on TV advertising in the UK every year, according to Ofcom.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards announced in March that the watchdog was due to undertake the review into the “complex” issue of TV airtime trading practices this year.

Since 2000 there have been a series of reviews into the way TV advertising is bought and sold in the UK, most recently the House of Lords Communications Select Committee Review of TV advertising regulation.

Ofcom is inviting responses to its consultation questions, set out in a document on its website, until 22 July this year.

The outcome of the review is likely to have an impact of Contract Rights Renewal, that restricts how much ITV can charge advertisers.

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