The Guardian have reported that bosses have spoken of how the need for a ban “was a widely held view” and “conversations have started” regarding a proposed change to contracts. The corporation is hoping to prevent talent from using social media and other public forums to discuss details of their involvement in BBC productions.
This news follows a string of incidents in which information about upcoming projects has been leaked, most recently singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s disclosure on Twitter that she was to appear in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s new comedy Life’s Too Short (left) alongside Sting. Sources have indicated that Bextor’s apparently innocent tweet undermined a ‘carefully crafted’ publicity campaign.
Other examples include Armando Iannucci and Steven Mangan revealing that The Thick Of It and Dirk Gently had been recommissioned before the Beeb were ready to confirm them.
The executive, who remained anonymous said: “There’s no doubt that Twitter is a popular communications phenomenon but it can also be quite disruptive if artists tweet about an appearance on a show or announce a new commission before the broadcaster is ready to go with the story.
“Broadcasters can have a number of reasons for wanting to delay press announcements, such as the deal not being done or contracts not being signed or, indeed, the broadcaster wanting to make a big splash with a great story at a particularly opportune moment. A random tweet can rob an artist of his or her potentially much louder fanfare.”