ATVOD Is Recruiting for 2 Board Seats

LONDON — U.K.'s video-on-demand regulator ATVOD is recruiting for two non-independent board members — one to fill an existing vacancy and one to fill a vacancy that will arise at the end of 2014.

Currently there are no adult entertainment industry members on the board.

The last and only board member who had adult industry roots was Chris Ratcliff, the programming director for Portland Broadcasting Ltd., operator of the U.K.’s Television X.

But Ratcliff left the eight-member board in September 2013 after serving an 18-month term.

ATVOD is seeking to recruit two board members to replace Daniel Austin of BSkyB, who will step down last month after four-and-a-half years, and Gidon Freeman of NBC Universal, who will leave the board at the end of the year having served since early 2012.

The two appointments will run for an initial term of two to three years.

Non-independent members are asked to offer ATVOD insight into concerns of operators and the wide range of commercial, technological and operating issues as they emerge.

"Critically, they are appointed to give the authority valued industry perspectives, rather than pursue the interests of the individual organizations they work with," an ATVOD recruitment memo states.

The majority of ATVOD's work consists of regulating U.K. websites that host videos to ensure that services containing adult content cannot be accessed by users under 18.

Failure by porn sites to obtain proof that the user is over 18 through a credit card and other similar means before allowing access to adult content is considered by ATVOD to be a breach of the Rule 11.

ATVOD also continues to focus on foreign hardcore sites, particularly tube sites that offer free content.  It also has been advocating to U.K. financial institutions and card companies the possibility of declining to process payments to websites operating outside the E.U., which allow under-18s in the U.K. to view explicit content. 

Successful ATVOD board applicants will normally be required to spend up to two days per month fulfilling these duties. The positions are unremunerated and meetings normally take place in Central London.

Board applicants should submit a letter of application setting out the basis of their interest in the role and evidence of how they meet the competencies, accompanied by a CV by email to Susan Robinson at The closing date for applications is Oct. 31; interviews begin on Nov. 24.