British media and telecoms regulator Ofcom is proposing a programme content classification system that would encompass TV, radio, video, DVDs and other playback media, plus internet music downloads.

The intention is to provide consumers with a yardstick by which they can judge program content in advance of viewing or listening. Currently, the proposal is about to enter the preliminary consultation state.

Says Ofcom board member Tim Suter: "We're asking whether it is possible to find a common framework behind labelling of content. A uniform labelling system would be very helpful."

According to the Financial Times, such a project would be supported in principle by the BBC, Scottish Media Group, and the Community Channel. Other broadcasters - among them ITV, Channel 4, and Five - are reportedly less eager to cooperate, believing that labelling "could dilute their brands".

It is not, however, thought that Ofcom is mooting labels such as 'easy option' or 'trash TV'.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff