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3. General Separation of Advertisements and Programmes

This document was originally published by the ITC, one of the organisations replaced by Ofcom at the end of 2003. It represents Ofcom's current policy.

  No box - Applicable to all channels
  Tint box - Only applicable to Channels 3-5
 
Keyline box - Only applicable to services other than Channels 3-5
3.1Break Identification
Television advertising must be readily recognisable as such and kept quite separate from other parts of the programme service. Breaks containing advertising spots of any kind, including teleshopping spots, must be identified in vision and/or sound, eg, station idents going in and out of breaks. Teleshopping windows must be identified both in vision and in sound at both the beginning and end of the break. (see Section 8.1.2B (iii) below).
3.2Categories of Programmes Carrying No Advertising
Advertisements must not be inserted in the course of any broadcast of:
(i) a religious service or other devotional programme;

(ii) a formal Royal ceremony or occasion;

NOTE:
3.2 (ii) means a formal ceremony or occasion of which the Sovereign or members of the British Royal Family enjoying the prefix 'Royal Highness' are the centre. It applies to occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament and Trooping the Colour.

(iii) a programme designed and broadcast for reception in schools;

(iv) a programme for children of less than half an hour scheduled duration;

(v) a programme of live transmission of Parliamentary proceedings, including coverage of Committees, of half an hour scheduled duration or less;

NOTE:
See Section 10 for further rules on advertising in relation to Parliamentary broadcasts.

(vi) a religious programme (other than religious services or devotional programmes which may not carry any internal advertising at all) of less than half an hour scheduled duration;

(vii) a documentary of less than half an hour scheduled duration;

(viii) a news or current affairs programme of less than half an hour scheduled duration;

(ix) such other programmes as the ITC may from time to time specify in particular or general terms, for example, programmes of a particularly harrowing or sensitive nature;

(A) Additional for Channels 3-5
(x) any programme of less than 20 minutes scheduled duration.
3.3Buffers
(a) There must be a gap of at least 30 seconds between a programme in the following categories and any advertising preceding or following it:
(i) a religious service or other devotional programme;

(ii) a formal Royal ceremony or occasion as defined in Section 3.2 (ii).

(b) No advertising may follow epilogues and other religious items that appear before a closedown.

3.4Isolated Advertising and Teleshopping Spots
In accordance with an EU requirement breaks in programmes containing just one spot advertisement or one teleshopping spot shall remain the exception.

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