BBC plan web advertisments

In the Guardian today I read an article on the BBC’s plans to include advertising on it’s website network. While the BBC has stressed that the advertising would be low-key and not include animation or banner ads, I really do think that this is a worrying step in the wrong direction.

Quite frankly I don’t feel the BBC have the right to place adverts on any of its services, simply because I feel one of the primary reasons for funding the BBC with tax payers money is so we can recieve information be it news, finance, education or anything else without commercial influence and without interuption from the purpose for which sit through a TV program or read a website. We don’t do either of those things to be sold products, and while in some situations it is the being sold products to that funds what we consume, the BBC isn’t supposed to work like that. On a more serious note who wants to be reading about a famine crisis and then have an advert in the middle of the article for ice cream? Sounds extreme but I’ve seen it done on other sites.

I use the BBC because I trust them. I still read their articles with the same level of scepticism as any other source of information on a topic I am as yet unfamiliar with, however I trust the way in which it is delivered. I firmly believe that their main reason for providing the information to me is because taxes have been payed to them for that very purpose. Introducing a commercial element into this information delivery puts a slur on this transparency. Not only are we left to question the sources of the news which is provided to us (as one should do with any news), but we are also left to question if any part of an article has been written in a certain way or placed in a certain location to better enhance the advertising which is interspersed with it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the proposed level of advertising spells the doom and gloom for the quality of the BBC to the levels that I have detailed so far, but I do feel it opens the gate just that little bit more to the amount of advertising increasing at a later date to levels in which they could have an extremely negative impact.

I urge everyone who uses the BBC as a regular source of news and information online, on radio and on television to write to them about your concerns. I will always choose BBC television and radio over any other simply because of the lack of adverts, and only then choose between the channels and stations to find content I want. I think the BBC need to be made aware that it is support like this they are spitting in the face of if they sell out on any of their information mediums.


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1 Comment

  1. Gareth Said,

    July 2, 2006 @ 12:10 pm

    And the fact that we pay them TV licence fees as well, which is why there are no adverts on their TV channels…. surely they have plenty of money to run a website without needs ads on there too. The BBC is falling because of digital channels and other sources of information, and I think they are clutching at straws which we quite frankly don’t want to give them.

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