20 October 2000

Plans submitted by Britain's Advertising Association for abolishing statutory control of broadcast advertising are under consideration by the government.

The AA argues that the controls should be self-regulatory, as are those for other media. Its proposal is being examined by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport prior to publication with the Department of Trade and Industry of a joint white paper on communications.

The paper is expected within the next two months. Meantime, the goverment departments have responded to the AA with nineteen questions regarding its submission and there have been two face-to-face meetings.

The AA believes that although the present system - run respectively by the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority - is effective, the convergence of broadcasting with telecommunications "will bring a new need for flexibility and speed for which an effective self-regulatory system is more appropriate".

Says AA director-general Andrew Brown: "We want a flexible system in the hands of the industry. We are not saying that broadcasting advertising should be transferred to the Advertising Standards Authority. It may or may not need a different body."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)