Extant rules separating advertising and programming on Britain's commercial TV channels are to be updated by the UK’s Independent Television Commission .

In a consultative document published Tuesday, the ITC describes the current review as “the most comprehensive since the start of commercial television” [in 1955]. Its intent is to introduce a more user-friendly note into the code, encouraging broadcasters to work with it more closely.

One of the main simplifications is the partitioning of ads and programming, while the so-called ‘harm and concern’ section will be updated to fit with 21st century zeitgeist. New rules have been incorporated alongside existing regulations and regrouped logically with annotated guidance as to their intention.

The onus is on broadcasters to make their own regulatory decisions within the new framework, says ITC deputy director of programmes and advertising Ian Blair.

“We believe this consultation paper strikes the right balance, combining freedom of speech and a light touch,” he added, “while ensuring protection for viewers, where necessary, by preventing misleading advertising, serious offence and harm to the vulnerable.”

The consultative process will close on March 28.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)