Government White Paper Attacked by Advertisers, Agencies

30 March 2001

The government white paper on the future of communications in Britain, issued in December 2000, has been slammed by representatives of the advertising industry.

The document’s failure to provide for self-regulation of broadcasting was a red rag to the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, while the absence of direct references to advertisers’ needs incurred the displeasure of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Giving evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee, IPA director-general Nick Phillips observed that the white paper virtually ignored the needs of advertisers, these being “restricted to two or so side mentions”. This omission, he complained, failed to take account of the impact on advertising that would result from the removal of restrictions on media ownership – a move that would drive up advertising costs.

ISBA and the Advertising Association both urged the committee to remove broadcast media advertising from the remit of the proposed new regulatory body, OfCom. They attacked the government’s proposed ‘co-regulation’ formula under which broadcast ads, while vetted by the industry, would remain under OfCom’s control.

ISBA urged that broadcast advertising should be accorded self-regulatory status on the same basis as the press and outdoor advertising. It expressed “disappointment” that the government lacked the confidence to hand over control of ad content to the industry.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)