Under section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 ("the Act") Ofcom has a duty to set standards, in a code, to secure that, amongst other things, "there is no undue discrimination between advertisers who seek to have advertisements included in television and radio services."
In November 2011 Ofcom issued a consultation that proposed to implement this standards objective through a Code on the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers. The proposed Code contained draft rules and guidance intended to assist broadcasters in interpreting and applying the Rules. Stakeholders were invited to comment on this approach and the content of the proposed Code.
Following consideration of stakeholders' responses to the consultation, Ofcom has decided to include a Code on the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers ("the Code"), as an addendum to the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.
The Rules in the Code require that:
Ofcom has amended its guidance, which forms part of the Code, to take account of issues raised by stakeholders. Full details of Ofcom's consideration of the issues raised by stakeholders can be found in Section 3 of this Statement.
The Code applies with immediate effect (i.e. from 27 February 2012).