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TV Adverts Could Get Longer And More Frequent In UK

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TV Adverts Could Get Longer And More Frequent In UK

Ofcom is reviewing the UK's broadcasting rules which could result in even longer and more frequent advert breaks.

Ad breaks are long enough as it is and it often feels like there's more adverts than programme.

You're left either sat staring aimlessly at your phone as you wait for the show to restart or – if you choose to use them wisely – you have the optimum amount of time to nip to the loo or stick the kettle on and pour yourself another cuppa.

However, Brits are being warned there may soon be even longer and more frequent pauses when trying to view their favourite programmes.

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Television advertisement breaks could be about to get longer and more frequent. Credit: Alamy
Television advertisement breaks could be about to get longer and more frequent. Credit: Alamy

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) has been revisiting its rules because of the rise in popularity of streaming services and evolving viewing habits.

Within this review, the regulatory agency has said it's also looking at the regulations surrounding advertising.

It explained the increase in such a variety of entertainment has 'made it harder' for broadcasters to 'maintain their current offer,' putting 'pressure' on them and 'squeezing revenues'.

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Market changes have reportedly made it harder for broadcasters to 'maintain their current offers'. Credit: Alamy
Market changes have reportedly made it harder for broadcasters to 'maintain their current offers'. Credit: Alamy

The current rules state that across the day, an average of seven minutes of advertising every hour is allowed for public broadcasting channels.

"For the purposes of this rule a day’s broadcasting is deemed to commence at 6am and run for the following 24 hours.

"In the periods 6pm–11pm and 7am–9am the total amount of advertising must not, without Ofcom’s prior permission, exceed an average of eight minutes an hour on any one day, " the rules state.

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A total of nine minutes are given to private channels. "This may be increased by a further three minutes per hour (5 percent) devoted to teleshopping spots, but this additional 5 percent must not be used for other forms of spot advertising," the rules continue.

Ofcom concludes: "In any one clock hour there must be no more than 12 minutes of advertising spots and/or teleshopping spots."

Research conducted by Ofcom has already revealed rising frustrations among younger viewers at the frequency of adverts.

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Older audiences have also had to resort to recording content 'as a series so they can skip the ads' or else risking throwing their flicker, clicker or thing-a-ma-jig at the screen.

A spokesperson for Ofcom told LADbible: "We're scoping a range of options, but before we form any plans we'll listen to different views and examine what TV viewers say.

"We need to strike the right balance between protecting viewers' interests and sustaining our traditional broadcasters, which includes helping them compete with American streaming platforms."

Further details about any changes to advert lengths and frequency are expected to be provided in summer.

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Further changes are set to be detailed in summer. Credit: Alamy
Further changes are set to be detailed in summer. Credit: Alamy

The review follows an announcement by Netflix that the streaming service is planning on introducing adverts.

Prepare to wave goodbye to the days of ignorant bliss where you didn't have to hear about the latest cleaning product, dating app or dog food.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Thinkbox

Topics: UK News, TV and Film

Poppy Bilderbeck
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