36 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / UK

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UK TV Ad Formats Face Future Competition from Product Placement

UK communications regulator Ofcom and its political masters have given the thumbs-up to product placement on British TV - thereby conferring legality on a practice that has operated undercover for decades ... and not only on commercial stations, some say! The free-for-all will kick-off on 1 February 2011, with even radio muscling-in on the act with paid-for verbal references to brands and products.The liberalisation follows recent changes to EU broadcasting legislation. However, there are some exceptions to the new free-for-all ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... with restrictions on the types of products that can be placed; limitations on the types of programmes in which products can be placed; and limits on the way in which products can be seen and referred to in programmes.

Major no-go areas for placements include children's and news programmes; also all UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

Broadcasters will be required to display an onscreen product-placement logo in all programmes in which placements occur. It must appear for a minimum of three seconds at the start and end of shows, enabling viewers to identify which UK-produced programs feature 'placed' products. The logo must also appear after each ad break.

Commercial TV stations intending to feature product placements will launch an audience awareness campaign in the New Year. Overseen by Ofcom, the campaign will include short information slots within the advertisement breaks of popular programs.

Whilst PP will be hailed with glee by commercial broadcasters, it may get a chillier reception in other quarters - for example commercial production houses and creative studios - which could experience a significant falloff in revenues.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5455

Google Provokes EU to Review Online Privacy Law

The European Union has proposed new privacy rules to protect citizens sharing personal data with websites such as Facebook and Google - a move that  will likely draw a line in the sand for privacy-promiscuous US tech companies. It is also likely to alienate the advertising and media industries on both sides of the Atlantic. Google and Facebook have already incurred the ire of EU regulators and politicians this year for collecting personal data without authorization - in particular the former's unauthorized collection of sensitive personal data whilst purportedly trawling the Europe's streets for StreetView data.

[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

The draft European Commission rules - snappily titled A Comprehensive Approach on Personal Data Protection in the European Union - imply the imposition of an online "right to be forgotten."

Such a dispensation would confer on EU citizens a legal right to demand that websites permanently delete already submitted personal data. The proposed rules also mandate that users give explicit consent before companies can use or process their personal data in any way. The mercifully brief (20-page) document also condemns website operators' current privacy policies as "opaque".

States EU Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding: "The protection of personal data is a fundamental right. To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data-protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization."

The proposal recommends giving consumers the right to sue companies for privacy breaches and also proposes criminal penalties.

The Commission, the EU's executive branch, will submit the proposal as legislation next year. It will then be debated and amended by EU members and the European Parliament before becoming law.

In the interim, expect frenzied lobbying from all interested parties - plus loud howls of transatlantic indignation!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5374

UK Media Minister Reneges on 'Bumpy' Regulatory Ride' for BT and BBC

Following thirteen years of avuncular regulation by the former New Labour administration, the UK's Big Media beasts - telecoms titan BT and broadcast behemoth the BBC - can anticipate a less benign regime, promised Jeremy Hunt (left) whilst in opposition. But in an interview with the Financial Times, the new government's secretary for Culture, Media, the Olympics and Sport failed to live-up to his pre-election rhetoric, making it clear that despite his rumblings in opposition, there'll be no iron media fist in a velvet glove. Indeed, the minister confesses to a degree of posturing ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

... “when you’re in opposition, all you have is a megaphone and the media in order to make your argument,” he admits. 

But whilst in pre-election megaphone mode, Hunt belaboured the BBC and the UK’s largest telco, attacking the former's pay and perks for top managers and claiming BT’s plans for a superfast broadband network were inadequate.

Faced with the realpolitik of government and personal accountability, however, Hunt has become sweet reasonableness personified, vowing that the BBC’s editorial independence will “never” be undermined by the Con-Lib government, and paying a public tribute to BT ceo Ian Livingston for outlining post-election plans to expand the company’s superfast broadband network.

Hunt argues that the “single most important thing” the BBC does is hold politicians to account. On the debit side, however, he posits that the BBC’s “financial power” (a £3.6 billion annual licence fee compulsorily levied on taxpayers) must be a “positive thing that helps boost plurality in the market, rather than something that inadvertently crowds it out”. He intends to encourage commercial competition within the BBC at national and local level.

Meantime, secretary Hunt's ministerial gofers are examining ways of scrapping ITV's “contract rights renewal” regulations that cap ad rates - a restriction imposed half-a-century ago when the company was the nation's sole commercial broadcaster.

Hunt is also sympathetic towards ITV's statutory obligation to produce regional news, and has tasked Nicholas Shott, head of UK investment banking at Lazard, to consider how a modernised regulatory framework could nurture a new generation of local TV stations.

The new secretary also intends to relax cross-media ownership rules, a move he believes will enable the creation across England of between 30-40 new media companies - formed by local newspapers, radio groups and new media entrepreneurs - which will supply ITV with local TV news programmes.

Hunt rules out a government subsidy for any of these idealistic goals given the need to cut public spending.

All pigs fuelled and ready for take-off, Sir!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5277

New UK Government Promises 'Best Superfast Broadband in Europe' by 2015

Delivering the keynote speech to a gathering of media and political denizens at London's ritzy private members haven The Hospital Club, Jeremy Hunt, Britain's new secretary for Culture, Media and Sport, promised to deliver "the best superfast broadband network in Europe” by 2015. This, Hunt averred, would provide greater flexibility for both video and audio broadcasters to exploit new technologies. He also promised a "far lighter" regulatory regimen for UK radio and TV broadcasters ....

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - 2015]

... pointing to the regulations that currently set strict terms on what radio and television companies are required to broadcast in exchange for their public licences, Hunt promised a new liberality for broadcasters.

“If we’re going to promote innovation we need to move away from the microregulation of the broadcasting sector, and that means the approach to radio licences, it means the approach to public service broadcasting.

“We have to move beyond a system where wise people at Ofcom - the regulatory communciations hydra concocted by the former government -  are defining precisely what people are seeing ]and hearing] to the nth degree.”

"The government," said Hunt, considered the need to ensure taste and decency to be as important as ever but “more broadly speaking we do want to allow media companies greater flexibility to develop models than they previously had”.

As to his superfast broadband promise, "£47 million would be spent on pilot broadband schemes in rural areas. Existing infrastructure owners such as BT, Virgin Media and utility companies would be put under intense pressure, including the use of legal force, to share their assets in an effort to ensure high-speed broadband reached all areas of the country.

Hunt assured his listeners of his determination to avoid a two-tier broadband population. Instead, he would use public funds to prime the pumps of industry in getting speeds of 50 mega bits per second and more to rural as well as urban areas.

But arguably the new government's greatest commitment to change lay in Hunt's revelation that he has appointed investment banker Nicholas Stott of Lazards to assess the viability of adopting local, city-based media models similar to those in the USA [a move more likely to prove of benefit to investment bankers than media companies!]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5247

BBC Revamps Online iPlayer Service to Resolve Competition Issues

Following intensive lobbying by its commercial rivals, British public service broadcaster BBC is to open-up its iPlayer internet service to other broadcasters, notably NewsCorp's satellite monopoly BSkyB and ITV - the nation's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster. The deal will enable viewers searching iPlayer for, say, top-rated ITV soap 'Coronation Street' to find the latest episode and click-through to view it on ITVPlayer. Growled Erik Huggers, director of the BBC’s future media & technology unit, through gritted teeth: “This is what the web was made for: to link to each other.” The upgraded free service will offer a redesigned interface enabling viewers to access  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 onward]

...  programme recommendations and seamlessly integrate with with Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft’s instant messaging service.

Insists Huggers:“This is about the BBC driving more traffic to the broader ecosystem of on-demand players out there. There is no sharing of technology going on.” Other new features include:

  • A BBC ID which will allow greater personalisation based on what users have previously viewed, enabling them to save “bookmarks” of series or shows that they can quickly access from any PC or mobile.
  • Improvements to live viewing of broadcast TV online, an activity that has undergone “big growth”; also enhanced video picture quality, which will auto-adjust to available broadband speed.
  • A facility to search for shows across a wide variety of non-BBC websites - a move that would help to establish the iPlayer as the first place viewers visit to discover a wide range of long-form [as opposed to short-form YouTube-style] online video .
  • Traffic redirection via searches and programme listings to ITVPlayer, Channel 4’s 4oD, Demand Five and Arqiva’s SeeSaw .

The BBC's hope is that these improvements will make iPlayer a more regular destination for viewers, as opposed to a site they visit only to watch a programme missed when originally aired.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5205

UK Regulator to Probe Nation's Outdoor Advertising Market

The "highly concentrated centre" that comprises Britain's outdoor advertising market (estimated annual worth £600 million), is set to undergo a fullscale investigation by the government's Office of Fair Trading. The watchdog will particularly focus on commission payments passing between site-owners and media agencies. Of especial interest to the regulator are  ...

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2010 onward]

... the two biggest specialist buying shops Aegis Group-owned Posterscope and WPP Group's Kinetic. Also under the OFT's magnifying glass will be the dominant outdoor media-owners JCDecaux, CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel International and Primesight.

Declares the OFT's senior director of infrastructure Heather Clayton: “The cost of all forms of advertising is reflected in the price consumers pay for goods and services.”

“This market study into outdoor advertising will take a look at whether the market works well in terms of offering firms and local authorities deals that are fair, competitive and transparent.”

According to the OFT, the sector has a “complex, multi-levelled structure” which is “highly concentrated at the levels of the specialist buyers and outdoor media owners”.

The probe will determine whether the current structure has distorted the market or prevented others from entering, with particular regard to commission payments between media owners and agencies, plus the contracts via which local authorities lease property to billboard operators.

Reveals a statement issued by the regulator: “The OFT understands that some contracts might contain clauses that prevent local authorities from dealing with other outdoor media owners or with advertisers directly. This may be to the detriment of local authorities and therefore the taxpayers that fund them.”

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5192

EU Fires Warning Shot Across Bows of Credit Rating Agencies

 The European Commission is mulling the formation of a new agency to rate the credit standing of its member governments. "If you look at Greece, for example, I was quite surprised by the rapid deterioration in its [credit] rating," admits Michel Barnier, Commissoner for oversight of  financial services. Accordingly M. Barnier proposes to take a long, hard look at the activities of the global triad of credit rating agencies - Standard & Poors, Fitch and Moody's: "I think we need to go further, to look at the impact of the ratings on the financial system or economic system as a whole. The power of these agencies is quite considerable not only for companies but also for states." Among the restraints under consideration by M. Barnier are ...


[Estimated timeframe:2010 onward]

... a new EU-sponsored  agency to rate the credit standing of member governments. This would challenge the global muscle of the global credit rating triopoly which, say critics, is so powerful that its judgements become self-fulfilling prophecies.

According to these critics, a downgrade by one or all the Big Three can push fund managers either into selling government bonds, or refusing to buy newly issued bonds.

Such negative gradings depress the value of the bonds and raise future borrowing costs - a sequence of events that puts further strain on a government's finances and could - theoretically - lead to further downgrades.

It's precisely that kind of vicious circle Greece has been fighting in recent months - a syndrome that irks M. Barmnier and his fellow officials in Brussels.

Accordingly the Eurocrats are considering how best to exercise their power to control the activities of  the rating agencies.

In 2009 the Triad was accused of failing to assess the size and risk of the US housing market's bad debt  - debt that was subsequently repackaged and resold around the world, triggering multi-billion pound losses.

The threesome later admitted their assessment of securities backed by sub-prime mortgages was incorrect. And how!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5169

UK Advertisers' Environmental Claims to Undergo Greater Scrutiny

Following a twelve-month period of industry-wide consultation, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has unveiled details of new rules governing what advertisers may - or may not - claim for their products. Especially prominent in the ASA's crosswires is the hazy issue of of environmental credentials - which will face far tougher future scrutiny.

[Estimated timeframe:September 2010 onward]

The ASA's Committee of Advertising Practice, along with BCAP, the body governing broadcast ads, has simplified the current code from four sets of rules into a single document which contains a new provision for “social responsibility” - an amorphous term intended to prevent advertisers' exploitation of loopholes in the Code.

The most crucial changes attempt to stifle “greenwash”, where advertisers or agencies exaggerate a brand's environmental benefits.

According to the CAP, the claimed benefits “must be supported by a high level of substantiation”.  Failure to do so means that advertisers could be penalised for omitting “significant information”.

Any “green” claims must cover the full “life cycle” of a product, CAP says, and also acknowledge areas where scientists’ opinions are divided.

The Advertising Standards Authority has the notional power to ban advertisements it judges to be 'misleading', usually after complaints from the public.

The new guidelines will come into effect in September2010, although they do not have the force of law and depend on the voluntary cooperation of the UK advertising and media industries.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5093

UK Conservative Party Hypes its Digital Manifesto

With a general election virtually certain in less than two months, Britain's Tory Party believes votes are up for grabs among the Island Nation's digiterati and has accordingly launched its digital manifesto with an accompanying ad campaign created by cyber-shop Lost Boys International. Among the manifesto promises awaiting amnesia are ...

[Estimated timeframe:May 2010 onward]

  • Legislating to enshrine the freedom of government data and create a powerful new Right to Government Data, enabling the public to request – and receive – government datasets. This will radically increase the amount of government data released – and will provide a multi-billion pound boost to the UK economy. President Obama’s administration has already implemented a ‘Right to Data’ policy.
  • Extending superfast 100 mbps broadband across most of the population. This is 50 times faster than Labour’s planned broadband network and would make the UK a hub for the creative industries
  • Publishing online every item of central government and Quango spending over £25,000 – including every contract in full. This will create new jobs by opening up government procurement to more SMEs. We will also publish online every item of local government spending over £500 – including every contract in full. In addition, detailed information on the salaries of senior civil servants and local council officials will be published online.
  • Creating a level playing field for open source IT in government procurement and open up government IT
    contracts to SMEs by breaking up large IT projects into smaller components.
  • We will also create a small IT development team in government – a ‘government skunkworks’ - that can develop low cost IT applications in-house and advise on the procurement of large projects.

According to Shadow Cabinet Minister, Francis Maude: "It is incredibly important that we get our economy moving again to get us out of Gordon Brown's recession. For too long we have endured a closed shop government - which keeps information from the public, fails to stimulate innovative industries and wastes money on bloated, unnecessary and gold plated IT projects."

"Our proposals will make the UK the most technology friendly Government in the world, introducing a right to government data, extending superfast broadband and creating a much more level playing field for SMEs."

Ads, created in-house, have been placed across sites including The Register, Mumsnet and CityAM to highlight core areas of the manifesto to key voters who might not understand how it affects them. 

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: New Media Age (UK)
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5079

UK Food Standards Agency to Tighten Product Labelling Guidelines

Britain's Food Standards Agency - already at odds with some supermarket chains and foods manufacturers over its nutrition-labelling recommendations - has yet to remove the velvet glove from its upholstered fist. In its latest bid to stem the tsunami of salt, sugar and other additives to manufactured foods, the FSA's latest request to foodmakers is that packs and labels include both 'traffic light' colour guidance plus Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs).

[Estimated timeframe:June 2010-onward]

The latest move follows agreement by the Agency's board that a single approach to front-of-pack nutrition labelling is esential. Moreover, it insists that only 'traffic light' colours - red amber, green – should be used to avoid consumer confusion”.

Says FSA board chairman Jeff Rooker: "The board was clear that it wanted a single approach to front of pack labelling that works. Tremendous progress has been made by industry in taking up front-of-pack labelling but different schemes are causing confusion to consumers”.

The FSA will “encourage” businesses to use both elements alongside text to help “consumers interpret nutritional information”. It also wants food-makers to ensure information is presented “in a way that is clearly visible and prominent”.

Additionally: “information on portion size should be realistic and not mislead” and that labels should be used on a wider range of processed packaged foods.

The FSA gave a thumbs-down to labels that express Guideline Daily Allowances in percentages - a preference expressed by a number of food industry dissidents.

Following acceptance of its recomendations by government ministers, the FSA will undertake a four to six week consultation on the technical guidance needed to implement the board's recommendations.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: mad.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5076

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