Should the Beeb Site Get Branded?

About a third of BBC News site readers live outside the U.K. It’s about time they got served a few ads. At least, that’s what the publication is pondering. In making its decision, the Beeb has launched a Web survey asking its international readers whether or not they’re cool with the idea. Because, according to a story on the BBC site, the site and all that BBC reporting is paid for entirely by the UK licence fee and taxpayer, the question arises: why should they be the ones to foot the bill for our BBC consumption?

Of course, changes like this are not taken lightly. According to the piece, “The BBC’s internal Journalism Board and Executive Direction Group would review any plans before they were submitted to the BBC Trust, the regulatory body which will soon replace the corporation’s board of governors…. ‘The size of the BBC inevitably means that it has a significant market impact, whatever it does. Whether this helps or crushes commercial opportunities for those of us who are not funded in such a unique way remains to be seen,’ [said Guardian Unlimited editor-in-chief Emily Bell].”

The BBC expects to survey at random more than 100,000 people about whether banners and ad formats should be added to the top, bottom and side of headline and story pages on the News website and BBC homepage.

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