13 October 2000

BBC Worldwide may face legal action from commercial magazine publishers concerned at the promotion of BBCWW titles on BBC channels.

Emap, IPC Media and the National Magazine Company have taken legal advice over what they see as the BBC’s unfair advantage in being able to promote its titles on publicly-owned television.

This is not the first time the BBC has faced such charges. Previous accusations led to a ban on using moving images to advertise Worldwide’s titles and an insistence that the BBC admit that other titles of similar content exist when promoting its own.

However, BBCWW has continued to expand into well-served markets. For example, its recently launched Eve competes with Marie Claire and She, while a new teen title, Star is planned as a tie-in with BBC children’s programmes.

“The BBC is using licence-payers money to push their own commercial ventures into extremely competitive mainstream markets”, claimed Emap president Sue Hawken. She admitted, however, that evidence would be hard to find, since the BBC is scrutinised far less than commercial stations.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)