Coke to sponsor BBC shows

Media regulator Ofcom yesterday removed the barrier preventing Channel Four, Five and BSkyB to merge their individual sales house to sell advertising across the channels.

Coca-Cola has thrown the non-commercial stance of the BBC back into the limelight after it emerged the drinks giant will get a plug during two of its music flagship programmes.

Both Top of the Pops and its chart show on Radio 1, will feature the Coca-Cola-sponsored Official UK Chart listings.

Although corporate sponsorships are often aired on the BBC, such as the Barclaycard Premiership and the Stella Artois tennis tournament, the row has angered those campaigning to reduce advertising aimed at younger people.

The revelation also comes just days after the government said it would ask the new media super-regulator Ofcom to re-examine advertising rules to prevent junk food and drinks from targeting children.

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