There are detailed rules on scheduling certain categories of advertisement in Section 32 of the BCAP Code.
The following categories must not be advertised in programming directed at or likely to appeal particularly to under 18s:
- alcoholic drinks;
- gambling (except lotteries, football pools, equal-chance gaming, prize gaming or category D gaming machines);
- betting tipsters;
- slimming products, treatments or establishments including meal-replacement foods;
- religious organisations (excludes ads for public events and publications for children and ads on faith-based stations);
- live premium-rate services (excludes those services allowed by the Phone-Paid Services Authority to target under 18s);
- Violent or sexually-explicit material.
The following categories must not be advertised in programming directed at or likely to appeal particularly to under 16s/children:
- lotteries, football pools, equal-chance gaming, prize gaming, category D gaming machines;
- medicines, vitamins or other dietary supplements;
- low-alcoholic drinks (i.e. drinks of less than 1.2% alcohol by volume and when presented as low or no alcohol);
- computer or console games with a PEGI rating of 18 or 16 (whether provisional or confirmed).
- e-cigarettes (though nicotine-containing e-cigs and liquids will be prohibited from being advertised from May 20th 2016.)
Special care is needed to help protect children for these categories:
- Sensational newspapers, magazines or websites or their content;
- Divination and the supernatural;
- Sexual health campaigns;
- Sexual material, sex shops, stripograms or similar;
- Sanitary protection products;
- Family planning products (includes contraceptives and pregnancy-testing products);
- Anti-drugs messages, including solvent abuse;
- HIV/AIDS prevention messages.
Advertisements that might frighten or distress young children or are otherwise unsuitable for them (e.g. scary 18-certificate films) are subject to careful scheduling Some campaigns, e.g. sexual health campaigns, need thoughtful scheduling by stations – these may need to reach sexually-active teenagers (15+) whilst not exposing young children (under 8’s).
Over and above these requirements, there are no specific “time bars” or a “watershed” for radio advertisements.
When deciding whether a station’s programming is likely to have particular appeal to children (defined in the BCAP Code as someone under 16) or young persons, the ASA considers factors such as RAJAR audience figures (as well as target markets) in the relevant time slot, the nature of the station and programming and whether the advertisement was scheduled at breakfast, drive, during the school run and school holidays and during family-style promotions or features.
Radiocentre can only advise advertisers that certain ads be scheduled carefully and that ultimate responsibility for scheduling decisions lies with station management. Radiocentre may sometimes make clearance conditional on advance station management approval.
Helpnote – Scheduling