01 August 1999

FOLLOWING A WIDE-RANGING review by the departments of trade and industry and culture, the government has decided to preserve the regulatory status quo for broadcasting, telecoms, the internet and other new media. The decision was greeted with disappointment by the ad industry, which had lobbied for the creation of a new super-regulator, OfCom, to create a level playing field between the BBC and the commercial TV companies. Said Nick Phillips, IPA director-general: ‘We would like a regulator with the power to issue directives and adjudicate on issues involving Channels 4 and 5, the BBC and ITV companies. We find the BBC governance unsatisfactory and think the Corpotation governors should not be their own judge and jury.’ Responded a minister: ‘We want evolution not revolution.’