NEWS19 September 2023

TV advertising restrictions to be kept, says Ofcom

Media News Public Sector UK

UK – Television regulator Ofcom has decided against removing stricter TV advertising rules for commercially-funded public service broadcasters.

TV studio

Public service broadcasting channels such as ITV, Channel 4, STV, S4C and Channel 5 are subject to tighter advertising restrictions than other commercial channels, such as ITV2, 5USA and Pick.

Ofcom had carried out a consultation earlier this year about removing stricter rules on quantity and scheduling of advertising, but had decided that despite some benefits being present, the status quo should be maintained for the meantime.

The ruling by Ofcom said that the potential benefits of looser advertising regulations on these channels for audiences, public service broadcasters and the wider market are currently uncertain.

Ofcom also said that it was likely that more frequent advertising would be prevalent in peak evening hours when news shows normally take place, which could lead to a reduction in news minutes, which risks diminishing an important public service.

However, Ofcom said it would consider the impact of changes to TV advertising rules on viewers in the broader context of other changes in the coming years, including the implementation of the Media Bill.