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BBC ditches online ads plan

Issue of non-UK surfers remains in limbo

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The BBC has ditched plans to slap adverting on its Web site for non UK-based surfers.

Ashley Highfield, the BBC's New Media director, admitted at the weekend that it would be virtually impossible to run a scheme aimed at making money out of ads for non-licence payers abroad.

"The government would like us to try and monetise the non-UK traffic but it is actually bloody difficult," Highfield said at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.

"It is not always easy to tell where someone is accessing from," he added.

According to a BBC representative, these comments refer to Auntie Beeb's plans for online advertising, and not to proposals to charge surfers for online content via a pay-per-view scheme.

The idea to charge for downloads is still being looked into, despite press reports to the contrary, the representative said today.

If this scheme got the green light, it could mean Brits coughing-up extra cash on top of the existing licence-fee for online content. ®

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