06 October 2000

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers has allied with with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising to attack the BBC and accelerate lobbying for a single TV regulator.

The move was triggered by yesterday’s news [WAMN: 5-Oct-00] that the BBC board of governors had approved the recent management decision to switch from 16 October its 9pm evening news to the slot formerly occupied by ITV’s News at Ten. Shortly after the BBC first announced this intention several weeks ago, ITV said it planned to reinstate its former 10pm news bulletin from its current 11pm slot on at least three evening weekly.

Advertisers and agencies are worried that the BBC’s refusal to change its mind will impact adversely on ITV audience share, causing increased ITV rate inflation. “This move is a very obvious statement of intent that the BBC is going to go after ITV's audiences,” complained IPA chairman Jim Marshall. “There is no doubt that the BBC acts like a competitive commercial channel, even though it is an organisation that has a charter to extend viewers' choice.”

He added that the IPA would intensify its efforts to press the government to appoint a single regulator to oversee both the BBC and commercial broadcasters. “

Marshall’s stance was echoed by John Hooper, director-general of ISB: "The evident lack of a single authority for the overall UK broadcast ecology is why there must be a single regulator that oversees the BBC and the commercial sector," he said.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)