The UK Cinema Association has welcomed confirmation that the long-delayed deregulation of screen advertising will come into effect from 1 April 2016.

The Association, along with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and Cinema Advertising Association (CAA) argued in favour of removing the current dual regulation during a public consultation in May 2012, following which the Government announced that it would to legislate to enable the change ‘as soon as possible’.

In the event, and after prolonged discussion, the move has been achieved through liaison between the BBFC and CAA, and will see the former’s role here delegated to the CAA. The BBFC will retain its classification role for trailers, public information films, campaigning films and all other theatrical works.

In the case of doubts about whether a particular film should be considered an advertisement, the BBFC will determine how the film should be classified in accordance with its classification guidelines and inform the CAA accordingly.

BBFC chief executive David Austin said:

‘One of the BBFC’s guiding principles is to protect children and vulnerable adults from potentially harmful or otherwise unsuitable content. By sub-contracting the regulation of cinema advertisements to the CAA, we are confident that the public will remain protected and that Industry will benefit from the newly streamlined process.’

Welcoming the move, UK Cinema Association Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

‘This deregulation is one of a number of areas of ‘unfinished business’ following the conversion of the cinema sector to digital projection. As a result, colleagues at the screen advertising agencies will now be better-placed to harness the flexibility of that new technology, and to compete with other media outlets for advertising income. I am hugely grateful to colleagues at the BBFC and the CAA for their hard work in facilitating this change.’