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BBC World Service to start advertising....a little bit at a time...until.....
6 January 2012 Last updated at 17:34 GMT

World Service 'advert plan' attacked by former director

Sir John said the decision to allow adverts was "not a trivial matter"

Plans to run adverts on the BBC World Service have been attacked by one of its former managing directors.

The scheme to insert advertising into World Service English output on the Berlin FM frequency is "the worst of all possible worlds", Sir John Tusa told Radio 4's The World At One.

He said it would breach a "crucial" principle and "not raise much money".

The scheme follows a government request that the Service generates £3m from commercial activities by 2013/2014.

Advertisments will also be put on the World Service's Arabic, Russian and Spanish websites.

"You can't be a little bit commercial," said Sir John, who was head of the World Service from 1986 to 1993.

"It's not a trivial matter or a trivial moment."

Jim Egan, acting director of global news at the BBC, accepted it was "a significant moment" but said the plan would provide "a significant contribution to the £3 million target".

He refuted Sir John's suggestion that it represented "the thin edge of the wedge" and would lead to advertising across the BBC.

The World Service started broadcasting in 1932 and has a worldwide weekly audience of 240 million across radio, television and online.

In 2010 the government reduced its annual £270m budget by 16% and said the Foreign Office would no longer fund it from 2014.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass

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