Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services

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2 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services CONTENTS 1. Introduction 3 2. Principles for Advertising and Sponsorship relationships 6 3. Advertising relationships Sponsorship relationships Content aimed at children Joint Promotions (for BBC publications and websites) Categories of advertiser or sponsor with specific restrictions or referrals Index 64 version 3.0, published February 2013 Front cover image: Broadcasting House, London BBC 2

3 February INTRODUCTION Advertising and sponsorship are important to any commercial service. If executed well, they provide funding and can enhance a consumer s experience by adding to the editorial proposition. However, if executed badly, it can be a reputational risk and cause future commercial relationships to be put in jeopardy. To protect the BBC s global reputation and ensure our editorial integrity and independence is maintained, these guidelines have been written. They set out the types of advertising and sponsorship relationships that are acceptable around the BBC brand. The guidelines have been approved by the BBC Editorial Standards Board. They supersede all previous advertising and sponsorship guidelines. The guidelines apply to all BBC commercial services and ventures, including: television those BBC commercial services which are licensed, in Europe, by Ofcom as well as licensed services in other territories across the world. It also includes UK-based joint ventures channels under the BBC s editorial control (such as those operated by UKTV). radio those BBC radio services across the world which take commercial revenue such as spot advertising. "On Demand Programme Services" these are 'TV-like' services delivering video on demand and made available to members of the public, such as the Global BBC iplayer. on-line BBC commercial service on-line that contain commercial activity such as sponsorship and advertising. This includes both text and audiovisual content. magazines (including titles published through joint ventures and under licence, both in the UK and internationally). syndicated content, such as a BBC branded channel on YouTube. These guidelines apply in addition to the relevant advertising regulations of a territory (such as the Advertising Standards Authority CAP and BCAP codes in the UK). The guidelines should be applied in the spirit as well as the letter. That means that commonsense should be applied. A strict legal interpretation should not be used to justify accepting an advertiser or sponsor which the guidelines intended to stop. Similarly, an 3

4 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services unreasonable interpretation should not be used to prohibit something which is clearly in line with the intention of the guidelines. Additional guidance on interpretation and referral is included in blue boxes. This additional guidance has been produced by BBC Editorial Policy in consultation with BBC Worldwide and BBC Global News. Operational Guidance may also be provided by the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian for a particular service. This Operational Guidance must be agreed with BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News. Any proposal to step outside these guidelines must be referred in advance to BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News. In either case they will consult Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy. 1.1 COMPLIANCE PROCESS AND REFERRALS The primary responsibility for ensuring advertising and sponsorship complies with these guidelines, and other regulations, rests with business areas. Each business has a designated member of editorial staff who takes particular responsibility for ensuring content complies with these guidelines. They are referred to as the Advertising Standards Guardian (or ASG). Details of the ASG for each business can be found on Gateway (or W:SPACE). The ASG is responsible for ensuring a documented compliance record is kept for all advertising and sponsorship and that a record is kept of all the referrals and approvals made within the business. They are also responsible for ensuring that the Editorial Compliance process detailed in section of the BBC Editorial Guidelines is followed by their business; that is that someone must watch or look at every advertisement before it is broadcast or published. In the case of sponsorship, the ASG must approve all elements including the sponsorship arrangement and the sponsorship credit. If you are unsure, you should refer, in the first instance, to your ASG. The more important or contentious an issue, the higher the onward referral needs to be. Ultimately, Editorial Directors and Managing Directors take responsibility for all editorial decisions taken in their business. On certain issues there is a mandatory referral to your ASG. These are shown in bold. And in some cases the ASG will need to make an onward referral, either to their Editorial 4

5 February 2013 Director, to BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News, or to BBC Editorial Policy. Referrals to your ASG which will require them to make onward referral are shown in bold in blue. All these referrals must be followed before the advertising is published or broadcast or any sponsorship relationship is entered into. But in some cases, noted in these guidelines, the referral must be followed before the advertising booking is accepted. Where you have to refer to your ASG, you should allow time for this to happen ahead of any deadlines; you should not expect approval immediately. However, all referrals should normally receive an initial response within one working day. Where this does not happen, you should escalate the matter to your Editorial Director. For all BBC Worldwide businesses, the designation of ASG and Editorial Director must be approved by BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy. The Advertising Standards Guardian must agree the compliance framework for their service with BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News. 1.2 ADVICE AND INTERPRETATION There are also a number of sources of advice, both within the business and outside: for BBC Worldwide businesses and joint-ventures, BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy can provide advice about these guidelines, as can your divisional Editorial Leader. for BBC Global News, the relevant Editorial Director can provide advice about these guidelines. For both areas, BBC Editorial Policy can provide further advice, although this should normally be sought through BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News. Business and Legal Affairs can provide advice about the wider regulatory framework and what rules and regulations need to be followed in each territory. In addition, regulatory bodies often provide confidential non-binding advice services: for example, in the UK the Advertising Standards Authority can give advice on the interpretation of the CAP Code. 5

6 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services 2. PRINCIPLES FOR ADVERTISING AND SPONSORSHIP RELATIONSHIPS The following principles apply to all advertising and sponsorship arrangements (e.g. on television, radio, on-line and magazine): 2.1 LAWFUL All advertising and sponsorship arrangements must be legal. They must follow the relevant advertising and sponsorship regulations of the relevant territory as well as complying with these guidelines. Generally acceptable standards must be applied to the content of all advertising and sponsorship materials so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion of offensive and harmful material. Advertising must not be misleading, harmful or offensive. 6 In determining what is acceptable in a territory, consideration should be given to local market practice; the BBC should always seek to position itself at the top end of market best practice. In the UK, for magazines and websites, advertising must follow the Advertising Standards Authority CAP Code. Similarly for broadcast services holding a television broadcast licence from Ofcom, advertising must follow the ASA BCAP Code and both advertising and sponsorship must follow section 9 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, which relates to all sponsorship and commercial references. In the United States, as a general matter, advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and must be truthful and not deceptive or unfair, and advertisers must have evidence to back-up any claims. Certain goods and service (such as food, prescription medication, cigarettes, alcohol, products aimed at children, consumer leases, credit, and products sold through mail order or telephone sales) are subject to other specific disclosure rules. In addition, each of the fifty individual states separately regulate advertising as a matter of consumer protection. In Australia, advertising is predominately regulated by the Competition and Consumer Act (Cth) 2012 which prohibits corporations from engaging in advertising that is either false, misleading and deceptive or likely to mislead and deceive. Certain goods and services (such as financial services, credit, real estate, pharmaceutical products, tobacco, alcohol and food) have additional regulation and disclosure requirements. There are also specific rules regarding the way in which goods or services can be marketed to consumer. For broadcast services holding a subscription broadcast licence from ACMA, advertising must follow the Advertising Code which forms part of the ASTRA Codes of Practice for Subscription Broadcast Television.

7 February THE REPUTATION OF THE BBC All advertising and sponsorship relationships must not jeopardise the good reputation of the BBC or the value of the BBC Brand. They should: be suitable for the target audience. meet consumer expectations of the BBC brand. not bring the BBC into disrepute. not give rise to doubts about the editorial integrity and independence or impartiality of the BBC or its programmes and content. To protect the BBC s reputation, the following categories of advertising are prohibited: a) political advertising 1 and advertising about controversial subjects. b) religious advertising. c) advertising for the occult. d) advertising for pornography and sexual services. e) advertising for tobacco products. f) advertising for weapons and gun clubs. These prohibitions apply in addition to any restrictions in place because of local regulations. Certain other categories of advertising need to be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian before they can be accepted for broadcast or publication. See section 7 for definition of the prohibited categories and details of other categories of advertiser which must be referred to your ASG. In particular, any advertising which deals with a controversial issue must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. See section 7.21 (Political advertising) for guidance on controversial issues. 1 In all markets, the BBC uses the definition of political advertising in s.321 of the Communications Act

8 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services 2.3 EDITORIAL INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE The BBC must retain editorial control and responsibility for all editorial content. Editorial content must not be created solely to provide an opportunity for advertising or sponsorship to be sold; in some cases editorial content may be created to provide an opportunity for advertising or sponsorship to be sold but this content must fit with the overall editorial proposition and editorial standards of the service or publication. Advertising or sponsorship arrangements must not influence content in such a way to impair the responsibility and editorial independence of the BBC. 2.4 DISTINCTION All advertising must be clearly presented as commercial content, distinct from editorial content. Sponsorship credits must also be distinct from editorial content. It must not give the impression that it is editorial content or emulate BBC programmes or other BBC content. For details on Product Placement see Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services on Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests. Advertising should not appear in a similar style to the editorial content to which it is adjacent so that consumers can clearly distinguish between editorial content and advertising. Any advertising around a programme featuring the presenter of that programme should be clearly separated from the programme, for example, by a programme bumper. Similarly any advertising featuring an occasional contributor to a publication or website should be clearly separated from their editorial contributions. See section (Conflicts of Interest). 2.5 TRANSPARENCY The nature of the commercial relationship must always be transparent and clear to audiences. It must be clear to the audience when they are seeing a commercial message. Surreptitious or subliminal advertising is not allowed. Where content has been sponsored, this must be signalled clearly through use of a sponsorship credit. See section 4 (Sponsorship relationships). Labelling is a useful way of ensuring audiences or users are aware of what they are viewing (e.g. where there is a risk that editorial content may be confused with advertising). 8

9 February NO ENDORSEMENT Advertising and sponsorship arrangements must not include any endorsement by the BBC. Care should be taken to ensure that no impression is given of endorsement by the BBC. The BBC name, logos, titles, channel names, programme titles, formats, characters, sets, music or catchphrases should not normally be used by commercial advertisers except in joint promotions. See section 6 (Joint Promotions). Some exceptions may apply where a BBC brand forms part of the product or service. For example, where a television set features a pre-installed version of the BBC iplayer. However, BBC brands should not be used in a manner that might reasonably be interpreted as endorsement or promotion of the activities of third parties. See also BBC Fair Trading Guidelines sections and

10 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services 3. ADVERTISING RELATIONSHIPS 3.1 GENERAL RULES Total amount of advertising content The primary purpose of any BBC service is to deliver editorial content. Therefore the amount of editorial content on any service or publication must always outweigh the amount of advertising content Third party supplied advertising In some cases the BBC may contract a third party to supply advertising for one of our services. For example, an advertising agent may sell advertising on BBC television channels as part of a wider arrangement with a carriage provider. Where a third party is responsible for the sale, broadcast or publishing of advertising on a BBC branded service, the contractual arrangements should normally include a requirement to comply with these guidelines. Any proposed exception must be referred to Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy. The relevant Advertising Standards Guardian should conduct regular sample reviews of advertisements provided by third parties to ensure that the arrangement complies with these Guidelines Advertising around syndicated content (and BBC branded blocks) Syndication is where BBC content is made available to a third party, for inclusion in their broadcast service, website or publication. It is normally presented to audiences as coming directly from the BBC. An example of broadcast syndication is the provision of BBC World Service radio bulletins to international radio stations. An example of online syndication is the provision of video content to MSN. Distribution is a generic term that applies more broadly to the means through which the BBC delivers content to audiences. So distribution could be shortwave radio transmissions, cable and satellite deals, some of which may be in the BBC s control, some of which may be controlled by third parties. 10

11 February 2013 A BBC branded block is a block of BBC programming provided to another broadcaster. For example, a CBeebies block broadcast on a Nordic television channel. A BBC branded block should be treated as a form of syndication. The contractual arrangements for syndication of BBC content should normally include a requirement to comply with these guidelines. Any proposed exception must be referred to Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy. The only exception to this is online where the advertising is clearly labelled and separated from the BBC content and is served automatically across a range of content (e.g. not simply BBC material). In such circumstances, advertising must not jeopardise the good reputation of the BBC or the value of the BBC Brand. For example, if the advertising appears in a separate and labelled Ads by Google or AdSense box and is automatically served across the whole website, not just against BBC content. Advertisers may not specifically advertise solely alongside consumer or lifestyle content relating to themselves or their competitors. Any exceptions must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. For example, a car manufacturer may not buy solely against content relating to its, or a competitor s brand, but may buy against the genre or category that contains its brand. Any proposal for an advertiser to buy all available advertising against specific BBC content for more than three months must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. Content made available to a third party in a non-branded form is treated as a form of licensing, and this guideline does not apply See also BBC Fair Trading Guidelines sections 4.64 and on appropriate commercial partners Environmental claims Advertising that makes environmental claims, for example, engine performance or environmental sustainability, must comply with the regulations of the relevant territory. Any advertising with an environmental dimension, message or information (whether this is the principle purpose of the advertising or not) is likely to be subject to extremely detailed regulatory scrutiny. The basis of environmental claims must be clear. Unqualified claims could mislead if they omit significant information. 11

12 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services On television and on BBC.com/news, all such advertisements must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian who should ensure it complies with the regulations of the relevant territory. Elsewhere online and in publications, in cases of doubt, such advertisements should be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian who can seek advice from Business & Legal Affairs in the relevant territory to ensure that it complies with the regulations of the relevant territory. In the UK, under the BCAP code the broadcaster is liable for the content of an advertisement so we must ensure it complies with the relevant regulations about environmental claims. However, under the CAP code responsibility rests primarily with the advertiser Advertising featuring augmented reality Advertising featuring augmented reality, such as a magazine advertisement where additional dynamic content is provided through a mobile phone app, is a developing area. Any proposal to accept advertising which makes use of augmented reality technology must be referred, in the first instance, to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian to ensure it is appropriate for the relevant BBC service. The relevant ASG can provide Operational Guidance for execution and ongoing referrals as new technologies evolve Conflicts of interest Presenters and reporters engaged by the BBC may not be allowed to feature in third party advertising. See BBC Editorial Guidelines, section 15 on Conflicts of Interest and Editorial Guidance Note for BBC Global News on Marketing Events. Staff and regular contributors to a magazine or website must not appear in advertisements in their publication or service. It may be possible for occasional contributors to feature in an advertisement in the same publication or service to which they have contributed providing the relationship is not unduly prominent and avoids giving the impression that the advertisement has influenced the choice of contributor. 12

13 February 2013 Any proposal to accept an advertisement featuring a contributor to that magazine or website must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. The ASG must consult their Editorial Director Advertisement Features Advertisement Features, as the name implies, are advertisements that are presented in an editorial style. They are paid for by the advertiser and under their control. Online, advertisement features are sometimes referred to as an advertiser s microsites. Advertisement Features must: be labelled clearly and prominently Advertisement Feature. There must be no confusion between an advertisement feature and editorial content. See section 2.4 (Distinction). Misleading labels such as Advertisement Promotion or Advertorial should not be used. In fact the use of product logos in the Advertisement Feature is a good way of indicating that the content is advertising and not editorial. be informative and interesting, and add value for the reader. avoid implying endorsement of the product by the BBC and must not feature any recognisable BBC content. not influence, or reasonably be perceived to have influenced, editorial content. not include any BBC names, logos, titles, channel names, programme titles, formats or characters. only include BBC talent where written confirmation has been obtained from the talent (or their agent) that there is no conflict with their work for the public service and that they have the necessary permission from the BBC to undertake the work (if appropriate). See section (BBC Talent contributing to Advertisement Features). All Advertisement Features must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian who must ensure the relevant editor has approved the content. The final responsibility for approving Advertisement Features, like editorial content, rests with the editor. 13

14 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Care must be taken to ensure that readers do not mistake an Advertisement Feature for part of the editorial content of the publication or website. In particular, they should not run on from the editorial content and should be distinct from it. Advertisement Features are normally written and designed by editorial staff, but must remain distinct from the editorial content, such that the consumer knows it is an Advertisement Feature and not editorial. Magazine or website staff and regular contributors should not be given a by-line for any Advertisement Feature they write, nor should they be featured by name or photograph. Instructions, practical advice or recipes within the Advertisement Feature must be approved by the website or publication s experts. 14 Teleshopping should not be treated as an advertisement feature BBC Talent contributing to Advertisement Features For Advertisement Features (where we have control over the copy) the publication must get written confirmation from any BBC talent featured that there is no conflict with their work for the public service and that they have the necessary permission to undertake the work (if appropriate). Such Advertisement Features must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian to ensure that the relevant written confirmation has been received. The ASG must also ensure that approval has been obtained from the relevant BBC Talent Manager. The restrictions that apply to advertisements by on-air talent can be found in the BBC Editorial Guidelines and associated Editorial Guidance Notes. Normally, regular BBC presenters are contractually required to adhere to the BBC s Conflicts of Interest policy and to seek permission from the BBC for any advertising commitments. See also section (BBC Talent featuring in Magazine Advertising) Promotion of Advertisement Features An Advertisement Feature may be promoted elsewhere within the same publication or service, provided any such promotion clearly labels the content as advertising. For example, online a Sponsored link to an Advertisement Feature may be included at the end of an Elsewhere on... module.

15 February TELEVISION AND RADIO ADVERTISING This section applies to all television and radio advertising including online streaming of broadcast channels. For audiovisual pre, mid or post-roll advertising, see section 3.3 (Online advertising). Advertising must be clearly separated from editorial content. On television and radio services, it must only run in commercial breaks. For on demand programme services, overlay advertising is not allowed Ad Avails The carriage arrangements for television services (outside the UK) often require an amount of minutes in each hour to be made available to the distributor or platform provider for them to sell advertising. This advertising block is under the editorial control of the distributor or platform provider (sometimes referred to as an affiliate). Such adverts are often described as local ad avails and are frequently for local advertisers. The contractual arrangements for Ad Avails should normally include a requirement to comply with these guidelines. See section (Third party supplied advertising). However, in some territories, regulatory or contractual arrangements may mean that the BBC will have little or no control over such advertising as it is deemed to be under the control of the distributor or platform provider. Any proposals for a service not to have a contractual arrangement to comply with these guidelines must be referred to Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy Infomercials Advertising must remain distinct from programming, Advertisements of a duration of more than five minutes are not normally allowed. Such advertisements are sometimes referred to as Infomercials. Shorter Infomercials (less than five minutes) should always be labelled in a clear and prominent manner. Where a service is off-air (for example, overnight) infomercials (which are longer than five minutes) may be transmitted so long as it is clear to viewers that they are not watching a BBC service. 15

16 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Radio advertising In addition to the rules above, advertising must be clearly separated from editorial content, for example, by the use of a service ident. Advertising must not be read by the presenter of the programme it surrounds to avoid audience confusion between editorial and advertising content. The inclusion of advertising on BBC radio services is a developing area. Further advice and guidance is available from BBC Editorial Policy. 16

17 February ONLINE ADVERTISING This section applies to all online advertising, including mobile devices and apps. It also applies to audiovisual pre, mid or post-roll advertising. For online streaming of broadcast channels see section 3.2 (Television and Radio advertising). Advertising must not unduly interrupt the relationship between the user and the editorial content without the user s permission. Users should normally signal intent before receiving more intrusive forms of advertising (e.g. click or hover to initiate) Advertisement formats Online advertisement formats are rapidly evolving. The suitability of a particular advertisement format should have regard to: consumer expectation of the BBC brand. the user experience. market norms in the relevant territory. For each online service, Operational Guidance on suitable advertisement formats and their positioning must be agreed between the relevant Advertising Standards Guardians, Editorial Directors and BBC Editorial Policy. For BBC.com/news, Operational Guidance is agreed by BACG Contextual Advertising Advertising may not be sold against a specific story on news and current affairs or consumer review pages. Operational Guidance must be agreed between the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian, Editorial Director and BBC Editorial Policy, to ensure any keyword sales do not breach these principles. On BBC.com/news, advertisers may not pay to advertise specifically alongside stories about themselves or their competitors. Where this occurs randomly, the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian shall decide whether the advertisement is editorially damaging and needs to be removed. Contextual advertising provided by third parties (such as Google AdSense) is allowed, provided it is evident it is under the control of a third party and no prohibited categories of advertising (see section 2.2) are served. See also section (Online Ad Networks). 17

18 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Takeovers (also known as Buyouts ) A takeover is where one advertiser buys all the available advertising space or is the guaranteed exclusive advertiser. A takeover is distinct from sponsorship because no form of credit can be given (e.g. In Association with ). Takeovers are acceptable for website pages and sections. Takeovers are not allowed for the whole of BBC.com/news and are not normally allowed across the whole of any substantive service. For example, there cannot normally be a takeover across the whole of BBCGoodFood.com. In very exceptional circumstances, it may be acceptable for an entire service to have a takeover for a very short period of time (less than 48 hours). Any such proposal must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. The ASG must consult their Editorial Director, and Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy. All takeover arrangements must be for a limited time to ensure that there is no impression of BBC endorsement and no questions are raised about our editorial integrity and independence. On BBC.com/news, a takeover arrangement for a section must not be for more than 30% of the advertising units available across the whole News service. Several sections may be included within a takeover arrangement so long as the overall 30% threshold is not exceeded. A takeover arrangement which includes the BBC.com or BBC.com/news homepages must not be for a duration of more than 7 days, in order to prevent the perception of sponsorship. Any takeover for a duration of more than 48 hours must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. For pages or sections that include news and current affairs, the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian must refer any proposal to accept a page or section takeover for more than 28 days to their Editorial Director. For pages or sections that include consumer advice/review, where the proposed advertiser is related to the editorial content, the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian must refer any proposal to accept a page or section takeover for more than 28 days to their Editorial Director. 18

19 February 2013 These referrals are to ensure a perception of sponsorship is not created in circumstances where sponsorship is not allowed. In determining whether a takeover is acceptable five factors should be considered: the duration of the takeover. the level of traffic attracted to the content being taken over. whether the takeover will involve 100% of advertising space, or whether some units will remain unsold or service house ads. the proximity between the advertiser and content. The closer the advertiser to the editorial content, the harder it would be to justify exclusivity. the frequency with which the editorial content is updated. For example, sections which are updated less frequently may be more acceptable for long term takeovers. For the avoidance of doubt, where an advertiser buys 80% of advertising units, with a guarantee given that the remaining 20% will be left unsold or only used for house ads, this also constitutes a buyout and these rules apply. Recurring takeovers should be treated as one deal. For example, a takeover of three days per week recurring over six weeks should be treated as a six week takeover Behavioural Advertising Behavioural advertising is where advertising is served based on the browsing history of the user and other information collected about them. For example, a user who often visits travel websites might be served advertising about holidays. Online behavioural advertising must comply with industry good practice. BBC practice in Europe is to follow the IAB Europe EU Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising which can be found at BBC Worldwide services must follow BBC Worldwide s Data Protection and Privacy Policies. Advice is available from BBC Worldwide Head of Data Protection. 19

20 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Data protection All advertising must comply with local data protection regulations (such as the Data Protection Act in the UK), which controls how personal information is gathered and stored by companies. Any advertising that proposes to collect personal information from the user should be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian to ensure that it complies with the relevant data protection regulations. Particular care must be taken with children s personal details. Advice on data protection can be sought from the BBC Worldwide Head of Data Protection or from BBC Global News Business & Legal Affairs Online Ad Networks, Ad Exchanges and other automated buying platforms An online Ad Network is where a third party sells advertising on behalf of a number of different online services. An Ad Exchange is a technology platform that facilitates the bidding, buying and selling of online media advertising inventory from multiple ad networks. Where a BBC branded service is included in an Ad Network, Ad Exchange or other automated buying platforms, the contractual arrangements should normally include a requirement to comply with these guidelines. See section (Third party supplied advertising). Any proposed exception must be referred to Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy. The relevant Advertising Standards Guardian should conduct regular sample reviews of advertisements provided through such service to ensure that the arrangement complies with these Guidelines. In the case of BBC.com/news, an arrangement for creative copy to be approved before campaigns go live is required Advertising on social media services As part of a wider online advertising arrangement, it may be possible to include reference to the advertising on a BBC commercial social media service. For example, where an advertisement feature is included as a microsite on one of our websites, it may be possible to include a sponsored tweet on that website s Twitter account. It must always be clear that such references are advertising, distinct from editorial. 20

21 February 2013 Any proposal to sell advertising directly on a BBC social media service must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. Where the service is accessible in the UK, it must be clear that it is a commercial service, rather than a BBC public service social media account. This referral does not apply to advertising sold by a third party around a BBC presence on a social media service. For example, advertising sold by Facebook around the Top Gear Facebook page. 21

22 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services 3.4 MAGAZINE ADVERTISING Advertising must be clearly separated from editorial content. Where there may be doubt or confusion, advertising should be clearly labelled to distinguish it from editorial content Solus advertising Solus advertising is where one advertiser purchases all the available advertising space in a publication. Solus advertising is not allowed in regular publications. However solus advertising is allowed for one-shot magazines, magazines supplements and inserts. Any such arrangement must be limited to ensure that there is no implication of BBC endorsement of the advertiser and a range of advertisers should be sought over time. However, where the one-shot, supplement or insert includes review of products or services or features a consumer review brand, solus advertising is not allowed by an organisation whose products or services are likely to be reviewed in that one-shot, supplement or insert. All arrangements for solus advertising must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. The ASG must consult their Editorial Director. A solus advertiser may not be referred to within the content, or given any form of credit, unlike a sponsor. See section 6 (Sponsorship). However, for magazine supplements it is acceptable for the front cover of the publication to carry a strip advertisement or competition flash for the solus advertiser provided this does not give the perception of endorsement. The artwork for any front cover advertising must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. The ASG must consult their Editorial Director. There is particular sensitivity about solus advertising in the UK around public service programme brands. The ASG must refer any proposal for solus advertising around a public service programme brand to BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News who will make onward referral to BBC Editorial Policy. 22

23 February BBC Talent It may not be appropriate for BBC talent, such as television and radio presenters, to appear in certain types of advertising. In some areas the presenter s contract with the BBC places clear prohibitions on advertising. For example: The presenter of a motoring show could not appear in an advertisement for a car manufacturer as this would call their objectivity into doubt. BBC presenters must not advertise any products featured in the programme in which they appear and they should not advertise the clothing which they wear on air. No two presenters from the same programme may appear together in an advert for a commercial product or service not connected to the BBC or the programme they present. No actors from a BBC drama may replicate their on air role in an advertisement. Groups of actors from a continuing drama series (such as Casualty or EastEnders) should not appear together in any advertisement. The restrictions that apply to advertisements by on-air talent can be found in the BBC Editorial Guidelines and associated Editorial Guidance Notes. Normally, regular BBC presenters are contractually required to adhere to the BBC s Conflicts of Interest policy and to seek permission from the BBC for any advertising commitments. BBC News and current affairs presenters and reporters are not permitted to take part in any commercial advertising. In order to maintain their impartiality it is unlikely that they would be permitted to appear in a promotion for a particular charity. All advertisements that feature known BBC talent must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian. The ASG must ensure that the relevant BBC Talent Manager is notified. If the BBC Talent Manager considers the advertisement to be inappropriate or a conflict of interest, they may ask that publication does not proceed (if practicable) or that the advertisement is not to re-run in future publications. See also section (Advertisement Features). 23

24 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Contextual advertising Editorial content and advertisements on the same subject should be kept a reasonable distance apart to avoid the impression that the advertisement has influenced the choice of editorial. This is of particular importance where a specific product, event or service is featured in an editorial article. Advertising for such a product, event or service should not normally appear within three pages of the editorial article, at the discretion of the Advertising Standards Guardian. For example, a general travel article on France could be adjacent to advertisements for the French Tourism Board, Brittany Ferries, Citroen, etc. However, if the article was about the relative merits of Eurostar versus Brittany Ferries then advertisements for those two companies would have to be kept at least three pages away from the article Data protection All advertising must comply with local data protection regulations (such as the Data Protection Act in the UK), which controls how personal information is gathered and stored by companies. Particular care must be taken with children s personal details. Advice on data protection can be sought from the BBC Worldwide Head of Data Protection or BBC Global News Business & Legal Affairs. 24

25 February ADVERTISING AT EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS Exhibitors at any BBC event or exhibition shall be treated as advertisers. The categories of advertiser listed in section 2.2 will not normally be acceptable as exhibitors. Any exceptions must be referred to BBC Editorial Policy. See also Fair Trading Guidelines, sections 4.64 and 4.65 on appropriate partners for the BBC. 25

26 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services 4. SPONSORSHIP RELATIONSHIPS 4.1 GENERAL RULES Sponsorship is where a third party (not engaged in the provision or production of content) makes any contribution to the financing of content (or its publication or transmission) with a view to promoting their name, trade mark, image, activities or products. For example, a television programme could be sponsored, as could a magazine supplement or a section of a website. Care should be taken with all sponsorship arrangements to ensure that there is not an actual or perceived endorsement of the sponsor by the BBC. Sponsorship arrangements must not lead to the creation or distortion of editorial content so that it becomes a vehicle for the purpose of promoting the sponsor. In all cases, the BBC should have a full understanding of the relationship between the contributor and the editorial content, as well as a full appreciation of the motivation and reasons a contributor is funding content. Any product placement by a sponsor must follow section 4.2 of the Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services on Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests. All sponsorship proposals must be referred to the relevant Advertising Standards Guardian at the outset. Sponsorship is distinct from advertising because a sponsor is credited for their investment providing them with a direct association with the content. Sponsorship is also different from funding. Contributions made by an organisation without a view to promote its name, trade mark, image, activities or products may be considered as funding. See also Guidelines for BBC Global News on External Relationships and Funding. Great care is needed to ensure that funders do not become sponsors. If a third party makes a contribution towards a programme (or other content) and it or its activities are promoted in the programme then this will be considered sponsorship, even if no sponsorship credit is given. This form of sponsorship is not permitted since it is viewed that the independence of the editorial content has been undermined. Therefore a full and complete understanding of the relationship between the contributor and the content is crucial to assessing whether the relationship is sponsorship (and whether the relationship raises any potential conflicts of interests). 26

27 February 2013 It is therefore not appropriate for BBC editorial content to feature or promote a contributor s name, trade mark, image, activities or products (unless it is incidental). However, in the case of UKTV and other BBC commercial international television services, excluding Global News services, a reference to the contributor may be permitted where it is part of a commercial arrangement and should be considered as product placement. Such references should adhere to the Guidance on Product Placement for BBC International Channels and any Official Regulations applicable for broadcasts to the relevant territories. (Services licensed by Ofcom are subject to Ofcom regulations). References that are not part of a commercial arrangement must be incidental. A contribution could be defined in a number of ways and is not limited to direct payments. For example, payment of other production costs such as flights may be regarded as a contribution. A contribution may be paid at any time, before or during the production. A sponsor may also buy advertising around the content it is sponsoring, which should comply with the guidelines on advertising. See section 3 (Advertising relationships) Organisations that cannot sponsor content Organisations may not sponsor content if they are not allowed to advertise in that medium or territory. Companies and organisations associated with the prohibited categories of advertising in section 2.2 may not sponsor any content: political advertising and advertising about controversial subjects. religious advertising. advertising for the occult. advertising for pornography and sexual services. advertising for tobacco products. advertising for weapons and gun clubs. Organisations may also not sponsor content that promotes their name, trade mark, image, activities or products within the editorial content. This includes any promotional references to the sponsor s business. Any reference to a product or service, in either sound or vision, is only permitted if incidental, non-promotional and editorially justified. The sponsorship should not give rise to concern about conflicts of interest. See also section below and (for product placement rules) the Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services on Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests. 27

28 Advertising and Sponsorship Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services Content that cannot be sponsored The following categories of content cannot be sponsored: substantive BBC services as a whole. For example, a BBC-branded television channel or website. news and current affairs content (bulletins, programmes, reports and articles). general Consumer Advice programmes and services which could deal with any topic. For example, the Watchdog television programme. in the UK only, BBC commissioned television and radio programmes originally transmitted on the BBC s licence fee funded services which have been commissioned/re-commissioned within the last twelve months. Other sponsorship arrangements must not give the impression that any of these categories of content have been sponsored. For the launch of a new service, it may be acceptable for a substantive BBC service to have a launch sponsor. Any such proposal must be referred to Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy, According to the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, current affairs means content that contains explanation and analysis of current events and issues, including material dealing with political or industrial controversy or with current public policy. Simply because a current affairs department has produced the content, it should not be classed as current affairs unless it meets the definition of the genre. Specialist reports which contain no current affairs commentary or analysis, such as sport, travel and weather reports, may be sponsored if they are clearly separated from news content. To avoid the impression that news has been sponsored, such reports should not be described as news. Unmediated business data such as financial market information may be sponsored. All decisions about appropriate sponsorship around BBC News content require careful editorial judgment and should take note of the intended treatment of the subject matter. The decision that sponsorship around BBC News content is acceptable must be taken, in the first instance, by the relevant Editorial Director of BBC Global News. 28

29 February Sponsorship of consumer review/advice content Content that includes review of, or advice on, products or services may not be sponsored by an organisation whose products or service are likely to be reviewed. This is to avoid the perception that the sponsor may have influenced the editorial selection or conclusions. For example, Top Gear content cannot be sponsored directly by a car manufacturer. Similarly, a travel programme that reviews holiday resorts cannot be sponsored by a tourism board that promotes the destination. However, a programme about the history or architecture of a destination could be sponsored by the relevant tourism board. If there is any doubt as to whether content constitutes consumer review (and this rule applies), the relevant ASG should refer to BBC Worldwide Commercial Policy or the relevant Editorial Director for BBC Global News. They will consult Chief Adviser, BBC Editorial Policy Choice of sponsor The choice of sponsor should not raise questions about the reputation of the BBC (see section 2.2). In particular, the sponsorship should: not give the impression that the BBC endorses the sponsor, or its products and services. not appear that the BBC s integrity and editorial standards have been compromised by the influence of the sponsor. An organisation may not sponsor content which, had it not been sponsored, could have been expected to contain material which might conflict with the sponsor s interests. Sponsorship by the following categories has particular sensitivities: the National Lottery (in the UK). See section 7.18 charities, foundations and non-governmental organisations. See section 7.4 governments and government agencies (except government funded tourism or trade boards/organisations. See section 7.12 agencies, institutions or services offering advice on personal or consumer problems. See section 7.20 On BBC Global News services, sponsorship by Charities and non-governmental organisations is not allowed. 29

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