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This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast TV programmes, or to watch or download on-demand programmes via the BBC iPlayer, then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

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Friday, 23 December 2011

BBC Expenditure on TV Licensing Online Advertising

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, we thought it would be interesting to ask the BBC how much licence fee payer's money they used to advertise TV Licensing on the web.

In common with millions of other advertisers the BBC uses a system called Google AdWords, which displays ads on various sites across the web. AdWords is a contextual pay per click advertising service: contextual in the sense that ads on web pages relevant to the ad topic; pay per click in that it costs the advertiser (the BBC in this case) a small fee each time someone clicks on one of their ads. I'm sure most people are familiar with the "Ads by Google" that appear all over the web. Maybe people aren't familiar with the idea that every click on a TV Licensing related ad costs the BBC money.

Being very familiar with Google AdWords and knowing how widespread TV Licensing related ads were, I summised that it might be costing the BBC a pretty packet to publicise their product to the web surfing public. I asked them all about it and true to form they managed to avoid answering, citing the fact that disclosing the cost of their advertising might prejudice their commercial interests. As I mentioned earlier, I am probably more aware of how Google AdWords works than the BBC, which led me to the conclusion that their reasons for not responding were bollocks. To that end I asked the BBC to conduct an internal review of my request which, for the second time (the last being my famous TV Detector Evidence request), found they had been wrong to withhold information from me.

The full trail of my correspondence with the BBC on this issue can be found on the Whatdotheyknow.com website.

Surprisingly, according to their final disclosure document, the BBC actually spends quite a modest sum on AdWords advertising, although they also admit to using other forms of online advertising that I didn't ask about. They've actually spent less on AdWords in the last 5 years than they have on booze.

Sadly our latest tussle with the BBC signals the end of our most noble of adversaries Dan McGregor, formerly top FOIA denier at the Corporation's TV Licensing Management Team. If it wasn't for Dan's poor judgement in the past the BBC's internal reviewers wouldn't have found in our favour each time we've asked their opinion! Hopefully he's away to pursue a more noble profession, although as a lawyer that's extremely doubtful.

The BBC's latest decision to backtrack during the internal review process leaves me wondering just how many FOIA requests they should have responded to but didn't. Given they knock back about half of all the requests they receive I'm willing to bet it's quite a substantial number.

1 comment:

33_hertz said...

Hahaha! Just excellent work with these FOI requests. You are the man!

I have, on occasion, been approached by one or two of these BBC types in the past.

Once, when asked for my advice on an upcoming band they could feature on a program, I suggested Dire Straits. At the time they were playing the London clubs and making roughly 75 nicker a night, which just about covered their PA hire.

A short time later, I checked the listings and of course they had chosen some tired old shit instead.

Here is a Blaster Bates story about one of his experiences with the BBC (no doubt before your time sir)