Online publishers urge BBC to resist website advertising
Our Corporate Bureau
16 February 2007
The British Internet Publishers Alliance, a group representing online media companies in the UK has asked the BBC Trust not to allow advertising on its international websites.
BBC plans to show its international users news videos in broadband quality for the first time, with advertising clips ahead of the film paying for the extra cost to serve the content in higher quality, using geo-IP technology to ensure that only non-UK users of the site see the advertising.
The revenue would replace BBC World Service grant-in-aid payments, which make up some of the news website's budget, while extra profit would flow back to the BBC to meet the government-set targets for generating commercial income.
BBC Worldwide had earlier said that the bbc.com site would not feature pop-up promos, animated commercials or the sort of ads that "give the web a bad name". International viewers are currently redirected to BBC's UK web site.
According to the group, online advertising on the BBC would hit the revenues its own members could make online. The group also claims that showing advertising to non-UK readers of BBC websites would also undermine the BBC's "worldwide reputation for integrity and impartiality."
The BBC says that while readers of its web content in the UK pay for the website through their licence fee, international audiences get the same service free and should contribute towards the costs.