Ad ban threat to TV groups

BRITISH broadcasters of children's programmes fear new European rules on advertising could kill off some of their most popular programmes or leave them with gaping holes in their accounts.

In a key vote tomorrow, the European Parliament's culture committee is expected to approve an amendment to the Television Without Frontiers Directive, which would ban corporate sponsorship of children's shows and toy ads in the centre breaks of programmes.

The proposal is fiercely opposed by the Paris-based World Federation of Advertisers, which argues there is no scientific evidence to show that television ads harm children.

Toy manufacturers are also concerned about the proposals, although they think broadcasters would be harder hit. "It would probably be most disastrous for television stations," said Peter Waterman, chairman of the broadcasting committee of the industry group Toy Manufacturers of Europe. "Income from children's programmes would drop sharply and the funding for new programmes would dry up."

Ironically, the review of the Television Without Frontiers Directive was inspired by France's desire to encourage more domestic production. The proposed ban is one of 250 amend- ments and is being sponsored by an Italian MEP, with support from the governments of Greece and Sweden.

Among the UK companies most likely to be hurt if the amendments become law are GMTV, which airs the hit programme Power Rangers, and a host of independent producers. A spokesman for ITV said its companies were expecting a sharp fall in revenues, although their licences would force them to continue broadcasting to kids.

ITV programmes such as Teleganticmegavision and It's Not Just Saturday would be under threat. "Any loss of advertising breaks would cause an important fall in revenue, which is directly related to programme development," said Sue Eustace, head of European affairs at ITV.

Satellite broadcasters would be affected less severely because they get additional revenue from subscription fees.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral