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UK Broadcasters Call For Social Media Regulation

Sky, ITV and Channel 4 have expressed their view as a collective that the time is right for an independent body to have oversight of social media platforms.

Speaking in a CEO panel at the Future TV Advertising Forum 2018 in London, Carolyn McCall, CEO, ITV, said that while there is political will for the creation of such a body, it is difficult to forecast how long this will take. She also referred to the archaic rules that currently govern TV advertising in the UK.

These were brought into sharp focus by the recent ban on a Christmas commercial by Iceland that referred to palm oil. The ban was not imposed on social media, which ran it in its entirety. Meanwhile, Alex Mahon, CEO Channel 4, questioned whether the UK government would have time to create such a body given its current preoccupation with Brexit.

Commenting on other issues, Stephen van Rooyen, CEO, UK and Ireland, Sky, said that addressability has been a success for the company and pretty resilient over time. It grew by 30 percent in 2017 and maybe even more.

What is more, it can bring new advertisers in, SMEs and as well as big brands.

He added that “we have two jobs. The need to innovate between us and to make it easy for advertisers”.

McCall said it was encouraging to see the regulator expressing the view that Channel 4, BBC and ITV could come together in some form to create a potent offer to compete with the likes of Netflix.

At the same time, she expressed her concerns as to the impact of Brexit in 2019. ITV did well in terms of ad revenue in the first three quarters of this year but has taken a hit in the fourth. Retailers are disrupted structurally, with Brexit casting a shadow on everything, and there are so many variables for next year. — Broadband TV News

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