Ofcom mulls audiovisual labelling system

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In a move aimed at clamping down on the distribution of harmful material, UK media watchdog Ofcom is considering a uniform labelling system for the audiovisual industry covering television programmes, music downloads and online videos.

The Financial Times said Britain could be one of the first nations to set up such a system, if a deal can be agreed with media firms, internet service providers and telecom groups.

The FT suggested a common labelling system could impact on multimedia services such as video-on-demand distributors and Apple's iTunes site.

Ofcom believes the new system could offer "clear, accurate and timely advice about the nature of content".

Ofcom content chief Tim Suter told the FT: "We are asking whether it is possible to find a common framework behind labelling of content. A uniform labelling system could be very helpful."

There are differences of opinion within the media sector about the feasibility of such as system, with the BBC and SMG said to be in favour, and ITV, Channel 4 and five against it, believing it could weaken their channels' brand identities.

The Mobile Broadband Group and Internet Service Providers' Association have also expressed their concerns.

Lovelacemedia  |  03.05.2005

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