Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: The Choices for Ofcom Are Not Odd - It's a Lot Worse Than That

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: The Choices for Ofcom Are Not Odd - It's a Lot Worse Than That

Article excerpt

As soon as I heard the names of the four/five non-executive members of Ofcom, it was apparent there was something odd about the choice. It is now clear that the choice is not 'odd' at all - it's much worse than that. Somehow Lord Currie and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have managed to come up with the wrong people and the wrong mixture of skills. Too much knowledge is missing, too many sectors unrepresented.

It's almost as if the five regulatory bodies to be replaced by Ofcom had been reduced to two. What they now have is a less than super-regulatory body that will undoubtedly handle the issues arising from commercial radio and telecoms very well indeed. Each has two 'representatives'. First, Richard Hooper and Sarah Nathan from the Radio Authority; second, David Edmonds from Oftel and Millie Banerjee, who worked for 25 years at BT in various senior but non-board roles.

Ms Banerjee's appointment has caused amazement at Channel 4, where she is on the board. The Channel 4 appointment may have broadened her CV, but those familiar with the station say her contribution has been slender in the extreme.

The yawning gap is television, the area from which most of Ofcom's grief is likely to come. Lord Currie's fox has already been shot. After unwisely naming EastEnders as one of his favourite programmes, the peer proved unable to name a single character.

Richard Hooper has considerable experience, but his encounters with TV are all a long time ago and, unfortunately, mainly consist of running Super Channel. …

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