BBC Broadcast, the corporation's commercial production arm, has produced a number of TV campaigns for clients including The National Lottery, Birds Eye and the insurance service More Th>n. Its most recent work is an education campaign for McDonald's by Leo Burnett.
"The BBC is competing unfairly against our members," Stephen Davies, the APA's chief executive, said. "The current regulations appear to allow the BBC to make commercials for non-BBC clients. We believe those regulations should be changed to prevent it from doing so."
The APA asked Thompson to ensure that the BBC's Fair Trading Commitment and its Commercial Policy Guidelines are scrutinised as part of the ongoing review in the run-up to Charter Renewal. The regulations include provisions governing the amount the BBC must pay for goods and services it receives and the prices it must charge to reflect cost and market practice.
"Those regulations do not and cannot ensure fair competition," Davies said. "BBC Broadcast can subsidise commercials production from other areas and employ staff to market its services without having to be concerned about meeting the costs of that from producing commercials."