Bid to relax rules on charity TV ads

A direct response media company is lobbying the communications regulator Ofcom to allow charities to ask viewers for donations on television shopping channels.

Ofcom currently permits teleshopping advertisements only for goods and services supplied directly to viewers. This has been interpreted as allowing charities to advertise for child and other beneficiary sponsorship packages but not for regular donations.

Paul Cox, director of commercial services at direct response firm MC&C, said: "There are clearly shades of grey because child sponsorship has been advertised in this way.

"We are in the early stages, but Ofcom generally takes a light hand.

We hope it will take a similar approach to charity fundraising."

According to Cox, at least three major charities are keen to advertise for regular donations and are prepared to back the request for more liberal regulations. MC&C is hoping to involve other agencies in the lobbying.

No one from Ofcom was available for comment.

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