Ofcom in the UK, the ‘independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries’, has effectively killed off the advertising revenue and therefore production of children’s television programming in the UK.
On Friday it announced that:
- On the balance of the evidence, Ofcom believes that the best way to achieve its objectives would be a total ban on HFSS food and drink advertisements in and around all programmes of particular appeal to children under the age of 16, broadcast at any time of day or night on any channel.
- This would include a total ban in and around all children’s programming and on dedicated children’s channels as well as in youth-oriented and adult programmes which attract a significantly higher than average proportion of viewers under the age of 16.
- As a result of Ofcom’s decision to target regulation to ensure the protection of the under-16s – as opposed to the under-9s, as first proposed – there will be a short and focused consultation to seek views on extending restrictions to protect these older children. This will close before Christmas with the final determination in January 2007.
- In addition to general content rules requiring responsible advertising to all children at all times, Ofcom has also put forward new rules on the content of advertisements targeted at primary school children. These rules would ban the use of celebrities and characters licensed from third-parties (such as cartoons), promotional claims (such as free gifts) and health or nutrition claims.
- All restrictions on product advertising will apply equally to product sponsorship.
- The restrictions would apply to all broadcasters licensed by Ofcom and based in the UK, including international broadcasters transmitting from the UK to audiences overseas.
No doubt this will spread to our shores in the not too distant future - and there again we quash the advertising revenue income of the broadcasters which in turn effectively quashes any independent production.So what will advertisers do with their money now that they have been banned from the airways?
They will move to Mobile and have their own branded content produced – it may even escalate to the franchise companies having their mobile broadcast network. McDonalds most certainly will be looking at the equation and saying that they can provide free animation and games for your mobile phone whenever you come in store. Imagine a McDonalds mobile show that you and your friends can only get if you go to their store.
The model simply moves from investing advertising revenue in airtime – and moving it across to product production.
Television is going to become static with reruns and cheap animated imports. Audiences will long for new content.
Imagine three years from now you go into a store and buy a chocolate bar – and as an added bonus you receive the latest episode of your favourite show delivered to your phone.
This is the new delivery model.