Stat of the day: 6 minutes

The length of time ad breaks during TV films could last, after Ofcom relaxes its rules on commercials.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Barely a week after the House of Lords recommended shorter commercial breaks, Ofcom has announced it's relaxing rules on the length of adverts shown during TV films on the main terrestrial channels.

The new rules mean TV channels will be able to interrupt films with 12 minutes of adverts an hour – up from the current 7 minutes – in two 6-minute chunks.

From a business perspective, it’s an unusual move for TV channels, which have been trying to focus on other sources of revenue. ITV’s new director of commercial and online said in January that the channel would be investing more time focusing on becoming a more powerful marketing platform. This would include pushing ITV’s digital sales, rather than just relying on ads as a source of revenue for the channel.  

That said, it’s unlikely the broadcasters will push breaks to the limit, as they’ll be wary of annoying viewers too much. Commercial stations are also on the brink of allowing product placement on British TV programmes so they’ll be able to gain more revenue from that.

On that note - anyone fancy a coke?

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