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
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
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.’