Magazine article Marketing

Advertising on the BBC Creates Such Contention

Magazine article Marketing

Advertising on the BBC Creates Such Contention

Article excerpt

On most things I am open to persuasion, or at least prepared to listen. There are very few truths that are self-evident, where the arguments have been had years ago, the decisions have been taken and that should be that. I am against capital punishment, and ads on the BBC.

On the first I make no apology. It's a moral question. On the second it's a practical matter that should be determined by where the public interest ultimately lies. No quantity of speeches at ISBA conferences will change my mind. I regret this intransigence because the cause of ads on the Beeb must be dear to the marketing community, to judge by the frequency with which the argument crops up.

The demands of marketers never seem to change. The logic of the argument is a familiar one. Airtime inflation is terrible. It's outrageous what we have to pay for ITV. Advertising is now our single largest variable cost. The economy/our company is being destroyed by this. The solution is obviously to have nine minutes of peaktime advertising on ITV. If that isn't going to be permitted then what is needed is 'limited amounts' of advertising on BBC. Or in other words, if we are not allowed to destroy one TV network how about allowing us to destroy another.

This opposition goes beyond argument. The BBC should be an ad-free zone. People don't pay their licence fee to have to do ads as well, although it follows that the BBC shouldn't push its luck by cluttering the schedules with ads for itself. In the interests of flexibility, a few boring public service announcements might fit in with the BBC's public remit. …

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