- The IPA has expressed concern over the Independent Television Commission's recent demand that ITV should increase viewer levels on its news programming.
The IPA was a firm supporter of ITV's plans to drop News at Ten and reschedule its evening programming. It argued that in an increasingly aggressive marketplace, the network needed the freedom to create a mix of programming which viewers found more attractive and caused them to watch in larger numbers.
The IPA argues that there is no need to bring back news at Ten to its prime time, but schedule limiting slot, because viewers have abundant alternatives on the BBC, Channels 4 and 5 and the satellite stations.
Jim Marshall, IPA media policy group spokesman and MediaVest chief executive, said: "At a time when we have been pressing for a lighter touch in regulation, we view regulator demands based on the ratings levels of individual programmes - however important - with some alarm."
"The fact that ITV evening audiences are generally up shows that people like what they are being given," Marshall continued. "Clearly we appreciate the political pressures the ITC will be under, but in our new multi-channel world, I had thought such a potentially nannying approach to regulation was now long past."