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Friday, April 20, 2007

Sir Michael Grade at the VLV Conference

Sir Michael Grade is in the news today covering his opening speech at the annual VLV conference.

In the Guardian, they focused upon his attack on the recent junk food TV ad ban:
"I'm not opposed to regulation. What concerns me is that [when] any special interest group pops up and gets a campaign going and makes a fuss, successive governments' knee-jerk reaction is we should be seen to be doing something, 'I know, let's impose some advertising restrictions, that will shut them up',"
This implies to me that Sir Michael Grade feels OFCOM is merely an extension of the government given that the supposed apolitical OFCOM installed the ban and an advertising ban was not in fact declared government policy.

The Times focused upon his request yet again for more free spectrum:
“Mr Grade said that, if Ofcom will not reserve spectrum for HD, ministers must intervene and use powers in the Communications Act to direct spectrum for a particular use.
The BBC and electrical retailers are backing the call for reserved HD spectrum. Ofcom believes it would be possible to squeeze “four to six” HD channels on to Freeview using the existing allocation of spectrum, a claim the broadcasters reject.”
Do you ever get the feeling that the ex-Chairman of the beeb doesn’t care too much for OFCOM decisions?

Something that neither paper picked up on was that the CEO of OFCOM, Ed Richards, presented later in the day – a copy of his speech is already available on the excellent OFCOM website.

Ed Richards fired back a bullet back to the broadcasters in general about participation TV:
“Recently the trust between broadcasters and viewers has been tested by events surrounding the use of premium rate telecoms services in television programmes.

The rules are in place. What has happened here is not a failure of regulation, but a failure of compliance."
The rest of his stuff was pretty earnest and non controversial stuff about the challenges in developing a vision for Digital Media beyond 2012.