NEWS: IPA fights against radio industry plans for new copy vetting body

Britain’s radio industry has hit controversy with a plan to set up its own body to vet commercials, prompting claims that it will cause more problems than it solves.

Britain’s radio industry has hit controversy with a plan to set up its

own body to vet commercials, prompting claims that it will cause more

problems than it solves.



The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising this week came out against

the idea. It says the scheme runs the risk of inconsistencies between

what is permitted in radio and TV advertising, adding that the industry

should be working towards fewer regulatory bodies, rather than more.



The Radio Authority is taking soundings over a proposal from the

Association of Independent Radio Companies for a body which would take

over the vetting of scripts for radio ads from the Broadcast Advertising

Copy Clearance Centre.



The AIRC wants to start recruiting staff for the so-called Radio Copy

Clearance Centre as soon as possible, with a view to it beginning

operations from 1 June.



Radio industry leaders are keen to establish the RCCC as a symbol that

the medium has come of age and is now mature enough to police its own

advertising.



At the same time, radio companies have grown restless about the amount

of money they must pay the BACC for its services and are convinced they

can do the job cheaper themselves.



They believe, too, that a user-friendly RCCC will be more popular with

agencies.



But Philip Circus, the IPA’s legal affairs director, warned: ‘We’re

concerned that the RCCC will have neither the staff nor the expertise.

If it’s done to save money, then it can’t be done properly.’



The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers is still canvassing

opinion on the proposal. But John Hooper, its director general, said:

‘Unless we can see any negatives, we wouldn’t be inclined to oppose it.’