Section 14: Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests

BBC Support Services

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  1. Joint Editorial Initiatives
  2. Online Support Material


When required, we complement our output by offering support services, such as helplines, information lines, fact packs, information online and via mobile devices.

The following conditions apply to such support services:

  • They should be free or priced at cost recovery, and therefore not designed to make a profit. We must not use premium rate numbers for helplines
  • We must not appear to endorse third party campaigns when we produce support material in conjunction with other organisations
  • We should not distribute third party fundraising material unless it is for BBC approved charity appeals
  • We may credit organisations who have contributed to our support material on the material itself, but we must not credit sponsors on air
  • We must ensure we can cope with any likely demand for our support services.

(See Section 17 Interacting with our Audiences: 17.4.21)


We may sometimes accept outside funding for off-air support material or services, for example, in the form of sponsorship from a third party which would usually be a not-for-profit organisation, such as a charity or educational establishment.

In certain limited circumstances, with approval from Chief Adviser Editorial Policy, funding may be acceptable from commercial organisations. No outside funding may be accepted for any on-air programme or content on BBC publicly funded channels or for any online content on

Guidance in relation to support services and funding from commercial organisations may differ for BBC Commercial Services.  Advice is available from Head of Commercial Policy BBC Worldwide.

(See Section 16 External Relationships and Funding: 16.4.23, 16.4.38 and 16.4.58)

Joint Editorial Initiatives


We may produce support services with an appropriate partner, such as a professional body, charity or educational institution.  In such cases it may be editorially acceptable to credit the involvement of the partner on air, and/or credit them on support material.

(See Section 16 External Relationships and Funding: 16.4.39 - 16.4.41)

Online Support Material


When we create web pages offering support material for programmes, they may sometimes contain links to external organisations.  Any such external links should be justified by the relevance and value of the content linked to for the programme's audience.  If we provide a link to an outside advice agency, we should normally provide links to a reasonable range of other agencies as well.

The BBC must never promise to feature a supplier's details online in return for getting free or reduced cost goods or services for the programme.

Programme support material on our web pages must not be sponsored.

(See Section 16 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests: 14.4.22 - 14.4.23)

(See Guidance: Online Programme Support Material)

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