The BBC seeks to offer fair and appropriate credits on its online sites. We normally give production credits, credits for the supply of TV programmes, websites or other material by third parties, credits for some outside events and credits for some software providers.
Our use of credits online should be consistent with the Editorial Guidelines clauses on logos and credits online:
Under no circumstances can programme makers or online producers agree to a broadcast credit or an online credit as a precondition for the offer of free or reduced cost products or services.
These are to recognise editorial or creative input. They may be for BBC staff producers and other staff or they may involve co-productions, joint editorial initiatives or independent productions. Credits may be for a website designer/builder, game designer, animation/graphic designer, picture library image/still provider, text/graphics contributor or other content provider.
Credits should be editorially justifiable, non-promotional and not unduly prominent.
To avoid undue prominence credits should not routinely sit on a top-level screen:
The number of credits listed should not normally exceed one screen
They may sit on a separate credit page accessed via a "credits" link on the site's home page, although not in the main navigation of the site.
The BBC will do its best to publish all credits agreed with contributors to the BBC site but this cannot be guaranteed. Publication must always be subject to the BBC's editorial control and discretion. Contributors should be made aware of this.
Placing of Credits and Logos
Online editors should take into account the reasons for crediting to assess whether there are circumstances which justify a credit appearing on a top level page rather than on a subsidiary screen. Logos for a co-production, joint editorial initiative or independent production will normally appear on a top level page, with a click through to a full credits page. A simple text credit which appears for reasons of transparency is more likely to be on a top level page.
Photographs in Credits
Photographs of individuals, whether of BBC staff or external contributors, should not normally be included in credits, in line with the BBC Credit and Branding Guidelines for BBC television programmes here.
Editorial references to companies or other organisations on BBC Online should not normally contain any use of their logo. Great caution needs to be exercised in the use of third party logos.
Use of commercial logos on BBC sites must be editorially justifiable. Proposals to use commercial logos on BBC Online must be approved in advance by a senior editorial figure or, for independents, by the Commissioning Editor. Such approval is not required when the logo is part of a co-production credit.
Logos as Credits
Inclusion of third party logos on the BBC's website is not generally acceptable as a form of credit or recognition of a third party's role. Logos are used to enhance brand value and are a strong advertising tool.
But there are some circumstances when the use of an outside logo on the BBC site may be an appropriate credit.
The main reason for the use of a logo is:
There may be a single use of an outside logo in the credits for a co-production, or independent production. For example, if an independent production company produces a BBC website, it may have a single logo in the online credits. Joint editorial initiatives may have a single logo per page;
In other cases, an outside provider of material may require the company's logo to appear next to the material as a credit. This might be the case when sports footage or stills are provided by another broadcaster;
Where third party software is being downloaded, for people to operate particular files, the use of a logo may, exceptionally, be justified but only if it complies with the principles above and has been approved as below.
All logos or icons in credits must have the express advance approval of the relevant Interactive Executive Editor.
Animations, Movies and Videos
Where animations, movies, or other video contributions are included on the website with a duration of 2 minutes or more, additional closing credits may be used at the end of the contribution. These should follow the BBC Credit and Branding Guidelines for BBC television programmes here, which means that if the contribution was made by a third party producer or an independent, in the appropriate circumstances it may carry a logo.
If a text credit is given for shorter animations, a simple text credit may be included on the page where the animation can be accessed. Any details should be displayed on a separate credits page via a credits link.
Credits and Links
A link must never be included on a public service website, or within the editorial content of the commercial site, in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.
Links are not acceptable as a form of credit or recognition of the content provider's or contributor's role. Nor are they acceptable as a form of credit or recognition where an external company has built the site, or developed games or other software applications for the site
Where there is a strictly editorial justification for a link, the BBC may, at the site editor's discretion, add a link to the third party site. Such links must never become a contractual obligation. They should be regularly reviewed. The BBC must reserve the right to remove the link at any time if the content no longer meets our editorial standards. We must not give the impression that we are endorsing a commercial product or service when linking to a commercial site.
For queries about credits, refer to the relevant Interactive Executive Editor who may consult Editorial Policy.
Third Party Software for Visitors to BBC Sites
Visitors to a BBC site should be given clear guidance about the software they will need to operate particular files. They should be told in advance if applications they may wish to download only work with particular software or on particular hardware platforms. This should be done in a non-promotional way.
In some cases we may decide that there are only one or two suitable suppliers for a particular application. In such cases we may offer links to enable those who visit our sites to download the appropriate software. If alternatives are available, we must offer a choice of links, as it is essential that the BBC is not seen to promote any particular software manufacturer. Any such link must be presented in a non-promotional manner. The provision of links must be approved by the relevant Interactive Executive Editor. Commercial logos or icons may be used only with express prior permission as outlined above.
With the express prior permission of the relevant Interactive Executive Editor, it may be acceptable to use small product logos on the page where free software needs to be downloaded so that the visitor can get full use from the relevant BBC site. It may also be acceptable for the logo to link directly to the appropriate download site (e.g. in the case of audio streaming software). But this should be done in a non-promotional way. See below for more details.
Logos and Credits within Software Commissioned by the BBC
Staff commissioning other software applications from outside companies should see to it that corporate logos which would be visible to the user are either removed or dealt with in the same way as animations, videos and movies. The inclusion of corporate logos embedded in an image may amount to undue prominence. If in doubt, producers should refer to the relevant Interactive Executive Editor before agreeing the terms of the commission.