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Ofcom looks to relax rules

Speaking at the Radio 3.0 conference in London today, Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said the regulator is looking into relaxing the rules governing sponsorship and promotions in commercial radio.

Richards said that the media regulator had carried out research into listeners' attitudes to promotional messages on the radio.

Adding: "We know that the ad model is changing – spot advertising is at the limits of what it can do. It is often considered intrusive by listeners.”

He continued: "These changing circumstances mean we have to adapt. We need to balance the benefits of flexibility for the industry with what listeners want, and ensuring listeners are not misled."

"We think there is scope for the relaxation of the rules".

Under the current Ofcom broadcasting code, stations must "ensure that sponsorship messages are separate from programmes".

Ofcom has launched a review of the broadcasting code. Radio Today understands that it will launch a consultation on the proposed changes on 16 June.

Depending on the result, it hopes the SandP code change will come into effect before the end of the year.

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