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The BBC could make up to £105 million from online advertising on its BBC Worldwide web services, according to a strategy report from Accenture.

The Guardian reports that the BBC is considering bringing in ad revenue from overseas viewers of its website, though BBC staff have previously voiced their opposition to online advertising.

The report identifies three separate levels of income from possible advertising, with the first option potentially raising £105 million per year, option two raising £64million, and the third, ‘lite’ option bringing in around £48 million.

The BBC.co.uk site attracts about 1bn page impressions a month from outside Britain, of which about a third are from the US, so it’s easy to see how such revenue figures could be reached. 

BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith had previously stated that the the BBC would not carry intrusive ads:

"It would be a limited number of ads. And it will not be totally commercial in that it will not be invasive."

"The basic notion is to have specific advertising to meet commercial return criteria but not so much that we are changing the nature of the site."

The Guardian reports that BBC executives have dismissed the large scale revenue generating plans, and are inclined to go for the ‘lite’ advertising approach initially.

Graham Charlton

Published 31 October, 2006 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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