Magazine industry trade body the PPA has called on the government not to widen the scope of video-on-demand regulations to include content streamed through magazine websites.
The PPA said a “sensible” approach was needed by the government, which is due to implement the Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive of the European Union by mid-December.
Responded to the Ofcom consultation on the regulation VOD services, the PPA expressed concern that audiovisual material on magazine websites might be caught by new regulations, despite this not being the intention of the European legislation.
The industry body fears that under new regulations publishers could be lumbered with additional advertising costs and compliance issues.
David Hyams, PPA legal director, said: “Video streamed through our members’ websites is already subject to the Committee of Advertising Practice Code and editorial content on their websites is covered by the Press Complaints Commission code. Both of which go further than the proposed regulations.
“Under the new rules, the Advertising Standards Authority will continue to regulate streamed video advertising, although the directive requires that regulations will now be enforced against the media owner rather than the advertiserâ€¦This has serious cost, compliance and contractual issue for PPA members.”
The European directive aims to regulate TV-like VOD services and guidance on the scope of services covered by the new law is due to be published in the coming months; however the PPA fears a “lack of clarity” in the proposed guidance could unintentionally impact magazine publishers across the UK.
The Press Complaints Commission confirmed in 2007 that it would begin to regulate audio visual material on newspaper and magazine websites.
Sir Christopher Meyer, former chairman of the PCC, told the PPA conference in 2007 the publishing industry must self regulate its online audio/visual offering to prevent outside interference from Europe.