Broadcast ads may soon be self-regulated

Communications “super-regulator” Ofcom “welcomes” proposals for the self-regulation of broadcast advertising, following a model similar to that of the the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which regulates non-broadcast advertising.

Speaking at the Advertising Association’s (AA) annual lunch this week, Ofcom chairman Lord Currie said: “The Communications Bill gives Ofcom a ‘mini-handbook’ of guidance on good regulatory principles. I welcome that and in particular welcome the duty we have to encourage effective self-regulation.”

Last year, a taskforce comprising advertisers, agencies and broadcasters was put together to develop recommendations for self-regulatory regulation of broadcast advertising. The recommendations were put together in conjunction with the AA.

Currently, TV ads are pre-vetted by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC), which ensures that advertisers comply with the code laid down by the Independent Television Commission. There have, however, been several instances when the (statutory) ITC has over-ruled the (self-regulatory) BACC.

Last year, the ITC issued a rare public rebuke to the BACC, for clearing an advert for Microsoft’s Xbox game console, showing a boy ageing rapidly before collapsing into a grave.

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