Ofcom blamed for slump in children's programming

Britain's ad industry this week accused Ofcom of creating a serious lack of investment in children's programming, highlighted by the broadcasting regulator's latest research.

Ofcom said on Wednesday that the decline in funding has left children starved of quality programmes with a diet of wall-to-wall cartoons.

But industry leaders claim Ofcom must take much of the blame because of its restrictions on food-and-drink advertising to children, which is costing broadcasters an estimated £39 million a year.

Hamish Pringle, the IPA director-general, said: "None of this is surprising and we warned it would happen. The revenue that has been denied to broadcasters by Ofcom represents a hell of a lot of quality programming."

Ian Twinn, ISBA's director of public affairs, said: "Nobody likes to say that we told Ofcom so - but we did. We've been happy to accept strict rules on advertising to children, but Ofcom has reacted to a political debate led by anti-business pressure groups."