Capital joins fight against BBC ’plugs’

Capital Radio has thrown its weight behind the commercial radio industry’s campaign to prevent the BBC using its own TV airtime to advertise its radio stations.

Capital Radio has thrown its weight behind the commercial radio

industry’s campaign to prevent the BBC using its own TV airtime to

advertise its radio stations.



Capital this week unveiled costings, carried out by a leading media

independent, which show that the BBC spent the equivalent of pounds 2

million of airtime on advertising its radio networks on BBC 1 and BBC 2

between August and October. This figure excludes ’Perfect Day’, the

BBC’s corporate ad promoting the range of music on offer to viewers and

listeners.



The industry will now seek to argue that the restrictive rules that

cover promotions for the BBC magazines should also apply to other BBC

products.



Martina King, the station director of Capital, said: ’There is a big

difference between a promotion and a commercial. Radio Times can only

flash up its front cover, but the radio ads are commercials created by

advertising agencies.’



Two other suggestions were mooted this week: that promotions for BBC

Radio should be restricted to radio only; and that the BBC be made to

pay for its airtime, bringing it in line with commercial radio stations

advertising on commercial TV.



Nigel Reeve, the managing director of London News Radio, said: ’Nobody

else has access to that sort of advertising platform; not even the News

at Ten centre break can compete, as no budget will get you a solus

spot.’



Stan Park, the commercial director of CLT, said: ’It’s valid that BBC

Radio should be advertised on BBC Radio, but to sit down to watch the

Nine O’Clock News and see the straightforward plugging of the service in

this way is taking the mickey.’



A BBC spokesperson said: ’These are public information films about what

viewers and listeners get for their licence fee. We are not selling

anything.’



Perspective, p20.



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