Ofcom launches VOD ad regulation consultation

Ofcom, the media regulator, has started the consultation process over whether the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) should regulate advertising on video on demand (VOD) services.

Ofcom

As part of the consultation, Ofcom is also proposing that VOD services be regulated by industry body, the Association for Television on Demand (ATVOD).

Since 2004, the ASA has regulated TV and radio advertising in the UK under a co-regulatory agreement with Ofcom.

The proposals would see the ASA regulating the advertising on VOD services as part of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for consumers.

Under revised European law, content on VOD services such as BBC iPlayer, 4OD, ITV Player, SkyPlayer and Demand Five will be regulated from 19 December 2009. Such services are available through Virgin Media, Sky and BT Vision as well as through the internet.

The new legislation requires that advertising on VOD services must also comply with a number of minimum standards.

They include ensuring that advertising is readily recognisable and does not contain any surreptitious advertising or the use of subliminal advertising techniques; as well ensuring that advertising does not encourage behaviour that is prejudicial to the health or safety of people.

Tim Lefroy chief executive of the Advertising Association, says: “It is natural that advertising regulation should go to the ASA and this will further confirm their position serving the British public as the class-leading regulator for advertising.”

The consultation closes on 26 October 2009.

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