Party political broadcasting is to take another step closer to
conventional advertising, after pressure from the Labour Party prompted
a decision by the Radio Authority to allow shorter PPBs to be aired on
Britain’s three UK-based national commercial radio stations, Classic FM,
Virgin Radio and Talk Radio, will soon transmit PPBs lasting two-and-a-
half minutes - half as long as those previously carried by BBC radio.
Following a recent decision by the three main political parties to
assert their legal entitlement to broadcast on these stations, each of
them will be obliged to run PPBs. The right has been waived for nearly
four years since Classic FM started broadcasting in September 1992.
The precedent has been broken by Labour, which informed the Radio
Authority - commercial radio’s regulatory body - that it wanted to claim
its rights under the 1990 Broadcasting Act.
The authority, the stations and the parties are now embroiled in
detailed negotiations. The length of ads has been agreed, but the
parties are pushing for more primetime slots than the stations want to
Labour’s move is part of its plan to give a higher profile to radio
This article was first published on Campaign