Claim alleges 'unfair promotion'

Daily Business lodges complaint to BBC

BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland

Daily Business has today filed an official complaint to the BBC over its continued policy of promoting selected media outlets.

BBC Scotland continues to disregard online-only services, particularly those based in Scotland, in its daily reviews of the news agenda, thereby putting those services at a commercial disadvantage.

Daily Business held one meeting last November with BBC Scotland executives and has received correspondence on this issue referring to discussions involving Donalda Mackinnon, the new Director of BBC Scotland, and Ian Small, BBC Scotland’s Head of Public Policy.

However, there has been no change in the presentation of news reviews.

Daily Business believes that given changes in consumer behaviour it is no longer acceptable for the BBC to promote selected newspaper titles which all have online editions.

Because of these online options, these titles are being given a commercial advantage only because they have print editions. Daily Business believes this preferential treatment is in breach of the BBC’s editorial guidelines which state:

Clause 14.4.10: “We must ensure there is no element of plugging when we review products or services”…. and 14.4.5: “….consideration must be given to the potential cumulative effect when planning to feature a specific product, brand or service numerous times on our output over a limited period, to ensure this does not lead to undue prominence..”

Daily Business editor Terry Murden says: “I have discussed this with the BBC and written numerous times to those involved in these decisions. Alas, recent correspondence has not produced a reply, let alone a change of policy.

“This is disappointing. The BBC is refusing to acknowledge changes in readers’ habits, and at the same time putting online-only operations at a commercial disadvantage which cannot be acceptable.”

According to the BBC’s procedures, the complaint will be circulated tomorrow morning in its overnight report to producers and managers.

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