Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Monday, 20 July 2015

ADVERTISER POWER Gawker editors quit as ad boycott threat sees article banned

Useful example of one of Chomsky's 'five filters' at work as it shows this is as true of new media as it is of dinosaur media (60s Times, NoTW closure, Telegraph HSBC non-reporting)

Just as with the case of the Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne quitting in protest at articles critical of HSBC bank being pulled to protect advertising revenue, so we have another case which shows how the fabled free press is actually heavily influenced by advertisers and commercial considerations (so Murdoch pulled the BBC off his Asian satellite TV network Star and pulped the hardcover [expensive!] copies of Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten's autobiography when China complained, safeguarding his access to the huge Chinese market, and ensuring Tiananmen Square would get no mention, and critics of Chinese Communist rule were silenced).

Perhaps this case isn't as clear though - there are ethical considerations (though, as with the UK press using the public interest defence this may be simply convenient to mask the real commercial calculation?):
Gawker Media’s top two editors resigned from the news and gossip site on Monday, in response to the company’s decision to remove a controversial post. The post, published last Thursday, concerned a publishing executive who is married to a woman and who allegedly attempted to book a gay escort. 
The post was described by some critics as a form of blackmail and widely condemned in the media. At least one advertiser put ads on hold in protest....Gawker’s founder Nick Denton defended his decision to take down the post on Monday and said that the managing partnership should not make editorial decisions. He took full responsibility for the removal of the post.  
“Let me be clear. This was a decision I made as founder and publisher – and guardian of the company mission – and the majority supported me in that decision,” he said. “This is the company I built. I was ashamed to have my name and Gawker’s associated with a story on the private life of a closeted gay man who some felt had done nothing to warrant the attention.”

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

ADS AUSTRALIA Fanta app targeting tweens banned

Australia has a voluntary self-regulation code on marketing junk food to under 12s, part of its response to the obesity crisis sweeping the Western world.

The contrast with the UK is stark: the Tory-led coalition government rather preposterously set up an advisory panel on food health regulation dominated by the food industry. Naturally enough, this has seen little movement on marketing or producing junk food.

So to see major corporations pull an expensive TV ad and app campaign is an intriguing example of seemingly robust self-regulation.

A TV commercial and an iPhone app for the soft drink Fanta has been pulled after the Advertising Standards Board deemed its cartoon-style “Fanta Crew” characters were directed at children as young as nine. 
Under the self-regulation of advertising rules, junk food may not be advertised directly to children under 12. One 450ml bottle of Fanta has about 14 teaspoons of sugar. 
The commercial featured animated characters known as the Fanta Crew at the beach and riding rollercoasters while talking about the great taste of Fanta which to them is like an “awesome ride”, a “bubble explosion” and makes them feel like “busting out to my favourite beats”. 
The Fanta Fruit Slam 2 app and the Fanta “Tastes Like” TV ad were designed to sell an unhealthy product which “should not be promoted to children,” Jane Martin from the public health advocacy group, Obesity Policy Coalition, said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

BBC In-depth 2015 analysis of its likely future

I've blogged in some depth and detail on the Beeb myself: this article is a good starting point if you're new to the debates around PSB, Reithian values, and the market imperative in broadcast media.
You can't disconnect politics from media regulation. Being from The Grauniad, the writing is slanted towards maintaining a viable BBC, where a right-wing paper might advocate banning services which 'the market' or 'commercial sector' already provide - or just straight up privatisation.

Monday, 6 July 2015

BBC Independence 'myth' in tatters?

There have been so many, wholly predictable (I did just that before the election!), big news stories about the free market/small state Tory attack on the publicly funded BBC that I've been waiting for something concrete before blogging on this again.

In the space of a week we have the story that the PM threatened to shut down the BBC, angered at what he saw as liberal/leftie bias, and Chancellor George Osbourne very bluntly questioning the future of the BBC in its current guise and scope.

Today comes action which ties together all the speculation over what Tory hostility might mean in practice. With a Culture Secretary outspoken on his attacks on the BBC before the election it comes as little shock that the Beeb has just meekly accepted an extraordinary funding cut just days after confirming the closure of BBC3 and announcing many 1000s more job cuts were planned.

Providing free licences for the over 75s is an instant cut of 20% of the budget. TWENTY percent!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

WEB Right to be Forgotten attacked by BBC

Julian Powles makes a difficult argument well - defending the "right to be forgotten" created by an EU ruling against Google in Spain that gives EU citizens the right to ask Google (and other search engines) to effectively hide hits/results that highlight from their past they do not want seen.

He points out that this includes people whose names bring up crimes ... that they were acquitted of, but you don't get that info in the top results, just the more sensational coverage of the accusations.

There are clashing principles here, both enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights:

  • freedom of speech
  • right to privacy; a private life

Why the BBC is wrong to republish ‘right to be forgotten’ links.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

ASA enforce OfCom rules on alcohol, slam MTV

Having generally not blogged on ASA, along come two useful rulings in one day - the rejection of complaints about the 'beach body' ad (albeit with some restrictions imposed), and now this: MTV sharply criticised for the high proportion of alcohol ads during the Geordie Shore slot.

That oh-so-familiar theme of protection of children is to the fore once more...

MTV argued that the show is "clearly" an adult show, but ASA data rather straightforwardly contradicts this by revealing the high proportion of under-18s forming part of the audience.

Of course the brands advertising their alcoholic goods in this slot would deny this - it is outlawed after all! - but access to under-18s is surely an attractive element of the audience for these advertisers? Furthermore, it would be odd if MTV hadn't provided their ad sales agency with detailed demographics of the audience; advertisers, and the buying agencies who negotiate fees and place their ads, will always want to know who they're spending money to target - if you're selling a stairlift, retirement homes or pensions you're hardly likely to want to spend money on ads during a youth-oriented show!!!

Read the full article - link below the line.

ASA Beach Body Ready ad cleared; inoffensive???

Interesting case that sparked a large petition, and a defacement campaign that went viral - but the advertising regulator the ASA ruled the ads were within the rules and so needn't be removed.