You may have read recently that the BBC Trust last month approved the launch of bbc.com, which means international users of the BBC website will start to see advertisements on the site.
As I write this the first of these ads are rolling out – visible to our tech team here via remote desktop connections that show us what the site looks like viewed from various locations outside the UK.
Richard Sambrook, the BBC’s Director of Global News, outlined the reasons for this move here – and, as he explained, these are basically about funding the BBC’s public service journalism for our international online audience.
In editorial terms the journalists will not be involved in any of the dealing with advertisers or with the scheduling of the ads. There’s an "editorial guardian" - paid for by BBC Worldwide, our commercial partners - who will help assess possible ad campaigns and give guidance on what might produce a conflict of interests, clash with our own editorial values or in any way compromise our journalism. If he sees any campaign, or individual ad, as potentially unsuitable then it won’t run. Journalists, guided by him, will have the ability to prevent ads appearing, for example, on sensitive or distressing stories.
I very much hope that those of you who do see the site with ads will understand why we are taking this step and will find that they do not jar with you, or get in the way. We want to get the news to you and we want to make sure we are funded to do that to the best of our ability.
UPDATE, 9 NOVEMBER: Thanks to all of you who have sent in comments and concerns about advertising on the international website. There were a number of common themes which I've answered here.