As predicted [WAMN: 22-Jun-01], Ofcom - a single regulatory body for all UK broadcast media and telecommunications – will be launched next spring, the government announced on Friday.

The powers and responsibilities of the new supra-regulator are set out in the draft Communications Bill which although published last week is not expected to become law until late in 2002.

Currently the media covered by Ofcom are answerable to no fewer then five separate watchdogs – the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Independent Television Commission, the Radio Authority and the Radio Communications Agency. All will work closely with the new body as it assumes its duties.

Advertisers have welcomed the move. As reported in June [see above] Incorporated Society of British Advertisers director of public affairs Ian Twinn enthused: “We are really pleased that the Government has recognised the need for a single regulator. There will be a concentration of media experts who will be serious commentators on any future developments.”

Press and poster media are excluded from Ofcom’s remit and will continue to be regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)