C4 pulls ads from simulcasts over legal action fears

LONDON - Channel 4 has pulled advertising from its simulcast service over fears it could expose clients and agencies to potential legal action from third-party rights holders.

The move comes after the IPA expressed concerns that Channel 4 had not ensured it had cleared the rights or provided indemnity to run TV ads during its new TV-on-the-internet service, as revealed in Campaign.

The service includes some of the broadcaster's most popular shows, including 'Big Brother' and 'Hollyoaks', which are being simulcast on its website, along with the TV ads booked to run in the programmes.

The IPA has suggested actors and musicians could sue agencies for rights infringement as a result of the service.

In a statement, Channel 4 said: "Channel 4 today confirmed that, from today, it will cease to carry advertising on its broadband simulcast service for an interim period. We hope the interim period will allow the IPA and its members to address concerns about its clearance issues on the simulcasting of TV advertising.

"Channel 4 believes that simulcasting is an extension of its TV activities and strongly urges the IPA to swiftly resolve these clearance issues to enable its members and TV audiences to fully benefit from the opportunities presented by the development of new media platforms."

The IPA said it had not been officially informed of the decision and declined to comment.

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