February 23rd, 2011
U.K. House of Lords Looks to Cut Commercial Airtime
A House of Lords committee wants to reduce the amount of advertising on British TV to only seven minutes per hour.
Current regulations allow up to eight minutes per hour for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and up to 12 minutes for other commercial channels. Reducing the amount of advertising allowed would “greatly improve the viewer experience and be fairer to public-service broadcasters,” a report on TV advertising from the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications said today.
ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, the original broadcast channels, are all public-sector broadcasters, meaning they have agreed to show some programs for the public benefit—including news and documentaries—and not purely for commercial benefit. They can now show an average of seven minutes of advertising per hour, but can increase that to eight minutes during prime time (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.).
Newer channels on cable and satellite can average nine minutes of advertising per hour, up to a maximum of 12 minutes in prime time. (In the U.S., broadcasters show 15 minutes or more of commercial time in prime time.)
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, a U.K. trade group for ad agencies, said it was disappointed but not surprised by the report.