Last updated: October 2010
Editorial Guidelines Issues
This guidance note should be considered in conjunction with the following Editorial Guidelines:
- Editorial Integrity and Independence
- External Relationships and Funding
The BBC mounts a number of public service events and activities, such as workshops, masterclasses and exhibitions, which are held at outside venues and which are not covered on air. These events are an important part of enabling the BBC to fulfill its public purpose remit to extend its offering and enable the public from around the U.K. to have closer access to BBC services and extend the reach of its learning activities.
In some cases, in order to defray the costs to the licence payer, it may be acceptable to supplement the cost of mounting a BBC off-air event or activity by sponsorship from a non-commercial or commercial organisation.
Such sponsorship can play an important role in enabling the BBC to stage cultural, community and learning activities, reach audiences around the country and mount events which encourage learning and involvement in BBC services.
There is a distinction between a sponsor and a partner. A sponsor may have no involvement with the mounting, organisation of or editorial nature of a BBC off air event connected to a licence fee funded activity. Sponsorship of an activity does not constitute a public value partnership. A sponsor will merely fund an activity, whilst a public value partner will be involved in the overall initiative.
We cover many outside events sponsored by third parties and in a few cases the BBC mounts its own outside events which take non-commercial sponsorship. But these are basically financial arrangements and are not considered public value partnerships in the terms of this guidance. There is a specific section of the Statement of Policy about Sponsored BBC Events.
We undertake partnerships with suitable bodies for a range of off-air activities.
For detailed advice on partnerships see the Guidance Note on Partnerships.
All proposals to mount a sponsored BBC off-air event connected to a licence fee funded service must be referred to the relevant Head of Department and Editorial Policy well in advance. Fair Trading should also be consulted.
Editorial Policy will advise as to whether it is appropriate to take sponsorship for the event and the appropriateness of the proposed sponsor.
Margaret Hill, Chief Adviser, Editorial Policy (Email here)
Natalie Christian, Senior Adviser, Editorial Policy (Email here)