Appendix 5: Guidelines for BBC Commercial Services on Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests

Free and Reduced Cost Facilities, Products and Services


We should normally pay for travel, accommodation and most other services we use.

BBC commercial services may on occasion accept free or substantially reduced cost facilities, products or services, but in all cases such arrangements should not undermine the BBC's independence or integrity.

Consumer and lifestyle programmes which review or feature a wide range of products may occasionally accept free or reduced cost products or services.  But in such cases it is essential that we:

  • keep accurate records of what has been accepted.
  • only accept discounts if they are in line with those offered to other large organisations.
  • do not guarantee any product or service will be featured, and if featured, that it will be in a favourable light.
  • inform suppliers that they cannot refer to the BBC's use of their products or services in any advertising or promotions.
  • only give on-air and online credits if editorially justified.

Suppliers must not have an editorial say in the programme and should not be given a preview of it.

Managers should be aware of the stipulations of the Bribery Act 2010.