All broadcasters with an Ofcom licence (and from April 2017, the BBC) must comply with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and all other relevant Ofcom rules and regulations. It is a condition of their licence. Failure to do so often leads to an Ofcom investigation. This can prove very expensive – in terms of management time, potential reputational damage (if Ofcom takes enforcement action), and in serious cases a substantial fine or even revocation of the licence. Compliance is therefore crucial to the cost effective running of any broadcaster in the UK.
Video-on-demand service providers who are regulated by Ofcom must comply with certain rules (for example to protect under-18s). Again, failure to do so often results in enforcement action by Ofcom.
This is where I can help. Having extensive experience of how Ofcom applies its rules and regulations, I can give you fast and cost effective compliance advice. This could be either before or after broadcast, or before or after you have provided a “video-on-demand” service.
Before broadcast, you might for example have a great new programme idea (or a particular broadcast) which raises potential issues under the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, be planning programming for a forthcoming election period, or have a potentially tricky new sponsorship issue. You can of course contact Ofcom for advice. Ofcom will do their best – but any advice they give will inevitably be non-committal and you will be told you cannot rely on it. I will be able to give you detailed and practical advice based on years of recent Ofcom experience.
After broadcast, if Ofcom starts an investigation, I can help you frame your response in the most effective way. This will reduce the chances of you being found in breach of the Code or being sanctioned – or if you face the prospect of a statutory sanction, I can help mitigate that serious risk through expert advice.
I also specialise in compliance crisis management. Problems can blow up suddenly and unexpectedly. There is no need to panic. Contact me for calm, timely and authoritative advice on how to handle the problem and deal with the regulator.
Ofcom policy impacts directly on broadcasters and on-demand providers—for better or worse.
When developing or changing policy, Ofcom often publishes consultations or seeks stakeholders’ views. I can help you frame your views on an issue, and your response to an Ofcom consultation, to help ensure your opinions have maximum impact on the regulator.
I can also help advise you on other issues that can arise with Ofcom, such as broadcast licensing.
The best way to avoid compliance problems is to train your staff effectively.
I organise and deliver compliance training for broadcasters and on-demand service providers—whether for a broadcaster who has just been given an Ofcom licence or an experienced broadcaster who needs “refresher” training on a specific issue.
I specialise in tailoring the training to your specific needs and basing it on concrete examples relevant to you and your staff.