Television advertising should be allowed on some Sunday mornings, but only during “special events”, the Government has decided.
The proposal is a compromise on an issue that has divided television companies and church groups.
Broadcasters will be allowed to play adverts on Sunday mornings during “events of major significance” such as the Rugby World Cup, under a proposed law change that will also expand the role of the Broadcasting Standards Authority to cover online television services.
There is currently a blanket ban on commercials between 6am and noon on Sundays.
A step in the right direction. But why not just remove the ban entirely? What makes Sunday mornings so special that you can’t have adverts?
A television and radio ad-ban on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning will remain.
The theory behind the Sunday morning ad-ban has been that it encourages broadcasters to show “special interest” programming – such as religious programmes – without concern that they may be missing out on larger audiences that would be of interest to advertisers, to whom they would otherwise cater.
The ban may have made sense when we had one TV channel. We now have dozens. There are niche regional broadcasters, special interest broadcasters etc. And all the special interest programming you can devour online.
I’d remove the ban not just on Sunday mornings but also on the four holidays.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes opposed lifting the Sunday morning ad-ban when the idea was first discussed a year ago, saying it was “important there is a little bit of peace and quiet in our hectic modern world”.
Well you can simply turn the TV off, if you want that.