The Independent Television Commission is coming under increasing
pressure to relax the regulations in its Code of Programme Sponsorship.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising wants the ITC to lift its
ban on companies sponsoring programmes related to their business. It
specifically calls for rules on general interest programmes such as
cookery, gardening and motoring to be relaxed so that they can be
sponsored by related companies.
The IPA also wants the freedom to include slogans or straplines which
form part of a registered trademark within visual and aural credits.
The ITC code will be reviewed in the spring although no date has been
set for when the findings will be published.
IPA deputy director general John Raad says a change is necessary as the
increase in the number of channels, particularly themed or specialist
channels, will be a catalyst for commercial businesses sourcing and
funding a greater proportion of programming.
The IPA’s call for change coincides with the publication this week of an
ITC report which ticks off two companies for breaches of its code.
Channel 4 was reprimanded for a Nokia sponsorship of the Moviewatch
programme. The report said the use of the word ‘pioneer’ in the sponsor
credit, which read ‘Nokia - pioneer of Widescreen Television’, was
promotional and went beyond indicating the connection between the
sponsor and the programme. The word was changed to ‘makers’.
Live TV was criticised for allowing London Transport to sponsor the
travel reports on Westminster Live, the news service it provides for the
Westminster Cable area. The ITC said it represented an unacceptable
conflict of interest.