Welcome to the new-look Radiocentre.
Today we are unveiling our new brand and strapline: Sound, commercial, sense – because that’s what you will always get from us. In a multiplatform world, it makes more sense for our teams of experts in policy, advertising and clearance to operate under one brand. So while it does mean RIP to the names RAB and RACC, the people who deliver the services with unparalleled knowledge and expertise, are very much alive and kicking. They will just be trading under the one name of Radiocentre from now on.
The new logo is more flexible, adaptable and modern-looking. It lives just as comfortably in the digital space as in the physical world and feels open, fresh and dynamic. Which absolutely characterises the commercial radio industry today, as far as I am concerned.
While a new name and some great new branding is pretty exciting for me and my team, it’s what we do in the name of the commercial radio companies which form our membership that matters in the end. With that in mind, we have been working hard alongside all of them to come up with our manifesto for the next few years. This includes the things we think will make the most difference in the future.
Focus is going to be our watchword. Focus on key things which really matter to our industry. We will continue to produce ground-breaking research on the value of radio as an advertising medium and help in every way possible to point up the best use for radio in advertising schedules. We will be launching a new Trustmark logo for radio stations and advertisers to demonstrate that their advertising messages have been properly checked and meet the required standards. That will provide consumers with reassurance that they can trust their radio stations to broadcast appropriate ad material.
And on the subject of consumers, we intend to drive a major lobbying campaign to improve the quality of information which has to be included in radio advertising. Ever wondered why financial adverts often descend into practically incomprehensible, super fast-talking examples of terms and conditions? It’s all about protecting consumers, apparently. Regulations in the UK and in Europe start with the best intentions of ensuring listeners aren’t ripped off. But the devil is in the detail and the result, most sensible people agree, does anything but protect consumers. It goes without saying, the radio industry has no interest in its listeners being ripped off. So we call on Government and EU regulators to work with us to produce something which really does achieve the goal of making it clear to consumers what they are committing to when agreeing to purchase. Our closeness to our audiences is one of our major strengths – let’s use that to achieve the regulators’ goal of better informing those listeners.
And finally, we will be asking Government to undertake a review of the legislative framework in which commercial radio operates. It is great that Apple have recently entered the market with Beats 1. We are beyond flattered that the world’s biggest company wants to be in the radio game.
There is more than enough flair and innovation in the radio industry to hold our own. But we do ask that Government take a look at some of the more arcane regulations at play. At present, in gaining a licence to operate a commercial radio station, there are seven categories of music which you commit to play. Including “adult/contemporary”, “contemporary chart” and “rhythmic based”. Confused? So were consumers when we surveyed them (Ipsos Mori etc). So we ask for appropriate regulation which allows operators to compete on a level playing field with all the new competitors in the audio space.
So there it is. A massive amount to do. Your new Radiocentre is surging forward with more determination and energy than ever before and we are looking forward to working with all our partners, continuing to contribute to a thriving, diverse, creative UK radio sector.