Feeds

Ofcom reins in TV psychics and adult chat

I'm sensing... new rules to ensure separation of editorial and ads

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Ofcom is proposing new rules for TV and radio shows which use premium-rate phone lines to raise revenue, with a view to ensuring that editorial and advertising are kept separate.

The new rules will apply to any show that provides a premium-rate number, even in a peripheral role, and aims to ensure that promotion of the phone service never becomes the sole purpose of the programme. This is particularly obvious with adult-chat services and psychic hotlines, which sometimes feature a host discussing incoming, premium-rated, messages. The UK regulator feels that's an advertisement, and should be subject to advertising rules.

With revenue from TV advertising falling, companies leapt to create programming dependent on premium-rate services. The scramble culminated in the UK edition of Big Brother which was largely self-financing, with the advert breaks being pure profit for Channel 4.

Recent scandals have curtailed that growth but phonelines still provide a significant income, and Ofcom is keen to ensure programmes don't become solely vehicles for promoting them. UK TV has always insisted that programmes mustn't promote products, forcing a generation to use terms such as "sticky tape" in order to avoid mentioning household names on TV, but the slow growth of personal video recorders could eventually make product placement the only way to pay for television programmes.

Until that day Ofcom will be on hand to make sure the ad breaks are long enough to get the kettle on, and don't intrude into our programming. The new rules use terms like "undue prominence" and "primary purpose", which should hold back the tide despite being heavily open to interpretation.

Interested parties can comment on the proposals before 22nd May. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.