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Ofcom change sponsorship rules

Entire commercial radio stations and TV channels will be allowed to be sponsored under plans announced by Ofcom today.

It says the Broadcasting Code will be amended so advertisers can go further than the current rule, which allows them to sponsor single programmes on a station.

There will still be restrictions on certain programmes and channels though, including those broadcasting news and current affairs. Alcohol brands and gambling firms won't be allowed to promote their around children's programming, as is the case at present.

Ofcom says stations with short hourly news bulletins will be allowed to be sponsored, but speech-based broadcasters won't. In addition, the sponsorship of the channel won't be allowed if it limits the amount of programming that can also be sponsored. This means that all "station-wide" sponsorship credit will have to be separated from programmes with their own sponsor.

The new rules will not allow broadcasters to name their station after the sponsor, although companies known for a brand in another field, such as Saga, may be granted a licence in their own right as before.

The new guidance will be published on the [link=http://www.ofcom.org.uk]Ofcom[/link] website to ensure full compliance with the rules, so that editorial independence and appropriate protection for the audience are maintained.

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