Scheduling and Audience Indexing Guidance update

Dec 17th '15

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) has published a minor revision to their guidance on Scheduling and Audience Indexing.

The minor revision provides more advice to broadcasters on how to identify programmes around which advertisements for sensitive or age restricted products should not be placed.

Scheduling restrictions are an important tool for BCAP and the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure that ads are appropriate for their audience. Products like alcohol and gambling should not be placed around programmes for under 18s or programmes where they make up a disproportionate percentage of the audience. Broadcasters are required to assess their programmes, identifying the types that fit those criteria and to apply restrictions accordingly.

The task is not as straight forward as some; in particular, some older programming can be difficult to characterise. It may, for instance, have been commissioned for children but over the years it might have become more of a nostalgic piece of programming with broader appeal.

The new guidance asks broadcasters to consider additional factors, such as their intention in scheduling, along with an assessment of the programme’s content and themes, when making a decision over whether the programme is for children.

The guidance came into force 17 December 2015.

If you are unsure how this guidance affects you, please get in touch with us.

The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice are responsible for writing and updating the UK Advertising Codes.

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