Radiocentre launches lobbying push against Ts&Cs

Radiocentre, the commercial radio industry body, is starting a campaign to free the radio advertising industry from the extensive warnings needed at the end of some ads.

Radiocentre: industry body starts campaign to free radio advertising from extensive warnings
Radiocentre: industry body starts campaign to free radio advertising from extensive warnings

The body is going to look to bring together organisations representing consumers, European regulators, the UK government, advertisers and their agencies and industry bodies to improve the way listeners are warned about the risks associated with finance, motoring and retail brands.

Siobhan Kenny, the chief executive of Radiocentre, said it needs to be a joint initiative: "It needs to be, ‘let’s do this together’, because it’s not in consumers’ interest. The broader the collation the better."

Radiocentre is also talking to a "couple of lobbying companies about how you cut through".

Kenny said: "With the best will in the world I know government well but I don’t know enough about Brussels to navigate. So we need some help with that and we might need some help over here as well."

The current rules governing radio advertising stem from European consumer laws put in place in 2008. They often lead to very long explanations including things such as worked examples at the end of radio ads.

Research commissioned by Radiocentre, found that more than 40 per cent of listeners said they mostly ignored the terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) at the end of radio ads. Listeners were three times more likely to recall important information when more concise Ts&Cs were used.

Kenny said: "This is not the radio industry whining about regulation. We want to protect consumers as much as they do. All of our research shows if you play them [ads with long Ts&Cs] they don’t hear anything but if you play something that is simpler and sharper, then they do."

Radiocentre is also launching a "trust mark" for radio advertising to reassure listeners that ads for finance, pharmaceuticals and alcohol brands that they are following the rules and have been approved by Radiocentre Clearance, the new name for Radio Advertising Copy Clearance.

As part of changes announced at its annual conference today Radiocentre scrapped the Radio Advertising Bureau and RACC brands.