GMG Chief calls for change
Speaking at the Radio Reborn conference in London this afternoon, GMG Radio chief executive Stuart Taylor has called for a reform of the rules governing sponsorship and promotions in commercial radio.
Taylor said the industry could make tens of millions of pounds if the current Ofcom broadcasting code was made more flexible.
Under the current rules, stations must "ensure that sponsorship messages are separate from programmes". Section 10 of the code adds: "No undue prominence may be given in any programme to a product or service." Taylor said these rules belonged to a "bygone age".
"The rules are incredibly difficult to interpret," he said. "I'm not calling for the abolition of all these guidelines, but our first priority is to our listeners. We need more flexibility."
He said radio was competing against an unregulated internet – and could be trusted "to act with integrity".
Ofcom has launched a review of the broadcasting code and is due to consult on the potential changes this summer.