NEWS: PPA slams ITC after talks on magazine shows downgraded

The Periodical Publishers Association looks set for a showdown with the Independent Television Committee over the contentious issue of masthead programming.

The Periodical Publishers Association looks set for a showdown with the

Independent Television Committee over the contentious issue of masthead

programming.



The PPA claims magazines are severely disadvantaged by the ITC self-

regulatory code, which forbids masthead programming, the process of

adapting magazine titles into TV programmes.



After concerted lobbying, the PPA appeared to be making some headway and

had set a date to talk over the issue with the ITC. However, discussions

about the Channel 5 auction delayed the talks, and the ITC is now saying

the issue of masthead programming will be discussed with a review of the

sponsorship code later in the year.



Ian Locks, chief executive of the PPA, said: ‘We are sad that the issue

is being viewed under the strange concept of sponsorship. I’d hoped we’d

agreed it was being looked at under other categories.’



Programme publishing, the adaptation of television and/or radio

programmes into magazines is permitted under the ITC code. The PPA

claims the discrimination is unfair and leaves magazines at a

disadvantage.



Frank Willis, director of advertising at the ITC, said: ‘Our objectives

remain the same: to ensure that programmes are not hijacked for

commercial communication purposes. The issue is how far it is possible

for TV programmes to actually be part of the publicity for a publication

that is on the newsstands.’



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