Ofcom is considering further relaxing the TV advertising rules, Chief Executive Ed Richards commented: “Ofcom is committed to reducing its regulatory burdens. In the last few years the TV sector has moved on with substantial increases in the take-up of digital services and in the number of available channels, and consolidation in the advertising buying sector. If regulations have no public interest then they should be removed; that is what we will be considering here.”
Ofcom will review whether commercial broadcasters should continue to face certain restrictions in the way they sell advertising, including the requirement on public service broadcasters (PSBs) that they sell all their advertising minutes.
Alongside this Ofcom will consider whether advertising minutage and break pattern rules for PSBs and other channels should be harmonised.
Ofcom plans to publish the consultation over the next few months. If changes are made, Ofcom hopes that these can be published in the autumn of 2010, when broadcasters and advertising buyers negotiate terms for the next 12 months, and brought into effect from 1 January 2011.