ISBA sets out its case for BBC ads

The BBC should be freed from the shackles of the licence fee and allowed to take money from the commercial sector to fuel its expansion plans and improve quality, according to the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ submission to the Davies Committee on BBC funding.

The BBC should be freed from the shackles of the licence fee and

allowed to take money from the commercial sector to fuel its expansion

plans and improve quality, according to the Incorporated Society of

British Advertisers’ submission to the Davies Committee on BBC

funding.



ISBA, whose resurrection of the campaign to put advertising on the BBC

was revealed in Campaign (5 March), will use its submission document to

argue the corporation has a real funding problem - and to present

potential solutions.



These include ads on Ceefax, boosting advertising on BBC Worldwide and

introducing sponsorship on BBC TV and radio - as well as the most

obvious option of allowing spot advertising on BBC TV and Radios 1 and

2.



ISBA has employed a team of econometricians to support its arguments,

which hinge on the belief that a more commercial BBC need not be harmful

to traditional commercial media.



It suggests that the new money will help improve programming and drive

expansion both into digital TV in the UK and globally.



John Hooper, director-general of ISBA, said in a letter to Campaign:

’The Blair Government is only too aware of growing public restlessness

at the licence fee poll tax and is responsibly concerned to alleviate

the hardships of the elderly and the disabled in paying it.’ The letter

will be published in full next week.



However, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising will stop short

of backing ISBA’s call, suggesting that the BBC should, instead, try to

be more complementary to commercial TV and radio and calling again for a

single regulatory body to monitor the BBC alongside commercial TV and

radio.



Meanwhile, the Central Office of Information has spoken out for the

first time against suggestions that government ads on the BBC would help

alleviate some of the inflationary pressures on the price of TV

advertising.



According to Peter Buchanan, the director of marketing communications at

the COI, the move would lead to a substantial loss of communication

effectiveness for COI ads (Opinion, p27).



Media Forum, p20.



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