ITC suggests ’flexible’ interactive regulation

The Independent Television Commission has stressed the need for a light and flexible touch to the regulation of interactive services in a new consultation paper.

The Independent Television Commission has stressed the need for a

light and flexible touch to the regulation of interactive services in a

new consultation paper.



The paper, which identifies two key types of interactive services -

dedicated and enhanced - makes it clear that the ITC does not wish to

invent new layers of regulation.



Dedicated services are those stand-alone offerings not related to

broadcast programmes. These include shopping malls that link viewers to

a range of interactive stores and entertainment services.



For these services, the ITC expects the main cause for viewer concern to

be misleading sales claims. To prevent this, the ITC proposes a ’notify

and remove’ policy, which puts obligation on to the TV station to ensure

that any content not complying with ITC rules is removed.



The second category - enhanced - covers those services linked with

television programmes that allow viewers to interact directly with the

programme or an ad.



The ITC believes the regulation of enhanced services should mirror that

applying to existing programming and remain strict. One example is the

issue of transparency, where the viewer must know if they are viewing

ads or editorial.



Stephen Locke, the ITC director of advertising and sponsorship, said:

’One of the things we have realised is that interactivity is not

something that you can regulate. It is functionality. What we regulate

are the services. Our job is translating that and working out what

viewer interest is.’



Reponses to the ITC paper are due in by 28 April. The next stage will be

a draft policy statement due in late summer.



Headliner, p18.



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