The Communications Bill hit the headlines yet again on Wednesday when the government was defeated in the House of Lords over a clause that would have seen the formation of a consumer panel to oversee and advise Ofcom on the content of TV commercials – and even programming.

The panel was strongly supported by consumer organizations but even more vigorously opposed by the advertising industry whose lobbying brought about an amendment excising it from the bill. The amendment was approved by 158 votes to 141.

Said its sponsor, Conservative culture, media and sport spokesperson Baroness Peta Buscombe: “My amendment reflects concerns expressed to me by content providers and the advertising industry throughout the progress of the bill in this House about the potential for overlap between the consumer panel and the content board, and the need for clearly defined boundaries between the two.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff