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RadioCentre engages with a range of government departments, external bodies and interest groups, addressing everything from broad media policy issues to specific regulatory changes.
Commercial radio is a relatively small sector in terms of revenue, generating a turnover of just over £500m p.a, but provides significant public value for audiences and communities. The intention behind much of this work is to ensure that the voice of commercial radio is present in significant debates regarding the future shape of UK media.
Create a regulatory framework based on the value of output heard by the listeners, rather than inputs such as location or music format requirements.
Work to ensure that local radio continues to be an essential and enduring part of the media landscape in the UK.
Seek the deregulation of commercial messages on radio and minimal advertising regulation, while still protecting the interests of listeners.
BBC regulation and governance
Ensure that BBC radio meets its public purpose remit and minimises its market impact on commercial radio, working with the BBC Trust and ensuring standards of governance and impartiality are upheld.
In response to proposed deregulation of community radio advertising restrictions RadioCentre focuses primarily on revenue and the need to ensure an appropriate and sustainable balance in the UK radio market, in order to retain a clear distinction between different sectors and ensure financial stability for commercial radio companies.
RadioCentre argues that any future regime must consider online news and the BBC, and should focus solely on plurality in news and current affairs. It also opposes the introduction of periodic reviews leading to some form of market intervention.
This document is the RadioCentre response to the proposed changes to classifying and measuring roles within the Creative Industries by DCMS.
RadioCentre has responded to a recent consultation to examine how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) plans to commence duties to regulate consumer credit once the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is abolished in 2014. The response focussed on giving the FCA giving details of a RadioCentre research project to fully understand the effect of different levels of mandatories in advertising and how best to ensure the consumer is sufficiently informed and protected where appropriate.
The RadioCentre response to the Lords Select Committee call fror evidence on media plurality examines : the implications of the rapid growth of online and multi-sourcing of news; the need for plurality reviews to focus on news and current affairs; the unique nature and impact of news on commercial radio; and the necessity to exclude local media from the proposed ‘periodic reviews’ of plurality.
RadioCentre written submission to the Lords Select Committee on Communications Inquiry into media convergence and its public policy impact. The submission gives views on commercial radio’s role in media convergenge and future challenges for the sector.
RadioCentre has submitted evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into support for the creative economy. The inquiry will examine whether and how government policy supports and strengthens the creative sector, RadioCentre has called for key areas to be addressed to shape a framework for growth and investment that secures a healthy future for the sector.
The 2012 DCMS Communications Review consultations on different parts of the media sector aim to contribute to legislation which will ultimately form a draft Communications Bill. The RadioCentre response examined several areas of legislation which impact upon commercial radio, seeking to provide Government with the clear policies on how to on support further growth in the radio sector.
RadioCentre welcomes the Department of Transport’s proposal to modernise the process of publicising traffic notices. We responded to outline the case for utilising commercial radio as a central channel for communicating notices from traffic authorities, principally because of its extensive reach, ability to target specific geographic areas and communities and competitive price.
RadioCentre agreed that greater transparency is important for the lobbying industry, and that the third-party consultant lobbyists should register their interests and representations on a register. Trade bodies, which in their very nature are transparent in their representations, would not need to be part of such a register.
RadioCentre's rsubmission to the Culture Media and Sport Committee Inquiry into Media Plurality
RadioCentre submitted a short note to Ofcom welcoming the rules and guidance on prevention of undue discrimination between broadcast advertisers, with the caveat that broadcasters will still require the flexibility to manage advertisers and their messages in different ways.
In October 2011 Jeremy Hunt wrote to Ofcom regarding the options for measuring media plurality in future. Ofcom sought views on this issue and RadioCentre submitted a short response highlighting the need for flexibility; consideration of news impact; the presence of the BBC; and use of multiple sources for news.
The Government published an ‘open letter’ on the priorities for a new Communications Bill. RadioCentre responded by highlighting the role of radio in supporting growth in other creative industries (most notably music), and the need to improve the legislative framework around content regulation; radio licensing; advertising regulation; and the role of the BBC.
RadioCentre welcomed the Coalition Government’s focus on local media and a key part of its overall media policy and action plan. However, it questioned the wisdom of intervening to establish an additional tier of local television, through public funding, legislative changes and market incentives.
While acknowledging the need for Government to review its communications spending, RadioCentre argued that radio should remain at the heart of its direct communications strategy. This will ensure that key Government messages are conveyed effectively and efficiently, while representing unbeatable value for money.
RadioCentre questioned the scope, purpose and funding of a Scottish Digital Network, alongside existing media outlets. It believes that more clarification is required on the nature of this intervention and until that takes place, it is difficult to draw clear conclusions as to its potential impact.
RadioCentre supported the proposal to enable product placement on television, but emphasised the need to ensure that commercial references in radio are also deregulated.
In 2009 the (then) Labour Government was considering the options available to secure news provision in the nations and regions. This included the potential sharing of the BBC licence fee with commercial broadcasters. RadioCentre was broadly in favour of this approach, but also stressed the need for less regulation on commercial broadcasters.
RadioCentre rejected the proposals from DCMS to liberalise the restrictions on community radio stations.
RadioCentre considers how commercial radio can contribute to a strong and plural local media ecology in the context of DCMS digital ambition for radio.
RadioCentre supported the review and revision of the broadcast advertising code, which is overseen Advertising Standards Authority’s Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP).
RadioCentre provided a broad submission on the importance of a strong commercial radio sector, with a digital future and sitting alongside a more tightly regulated BBC, within the UK’s creative industries.
RadioCentre emphasised the disproportionate level of regulation faced by commercial radio, as this is preventing consolidation that is essential if local radio stations are to continue to invest in content and thrive in a digital age.
In 2009 the (then) Conservative opposition consulted on possible measures to create stronger local media companies, though a range of interventions and regulatory changes. RadioCentre was sympathetic to many of these proposals, particularly around liberalisation of local media ownership rules.
Commercial radio's code of practice on editorial principles
This Code is intended to provide a set of guidelines and advice to radio broadcasters that
use, or are considering using, premium rate services.