The ABC may take advertising on its websites following a “review” of the issue, which will be one of the first tasks of the new ABC Commercial division, Managing Director Mark Scott said this morning.

We understand the sensitivities, and we are going to consider and review the process. I am not saying we will do it, but I am not ruling it out either,” he said.

Scott’s comments about the “review” follows yesterday’s announcement of moves to exploit the commercial potential of the ABC’s content, with plans to charge for downloads that are presently free.

The advertising industry, meanwhile, is salivating at the prospect of ads. The leading trade journal B&T this week quotes media buyer Harold Mitchell proclaiming the wonders of the ABC’s “special audience” which is “impossible to reach any other way”. He believes advertising on the ABC websites could reap up to $10 million a year.

Peter Fray

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