TV shows to carry product placement


Product placement will begin on British TV programmes from February 28

Product placement will begin on British TV programmes for the first time from February 28, media regulator Ofcom has announced.

It said that TV channels will have to broadcast a logo for three seconds at the start and end of programmes which have been paid to feature products.

Broadcasters, including ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky, are set to launch an audience awareness campaign in the New Year.

Earlier this year, the then Labour government decided to allow product placement in British TV programmes as a result of changes to European broadcasting legislation. The Labour government said earlier this year that continuing to ban product placement would damage the finances of the British TV industry.

Product placement will be allowed in films, dramas and documentaries, TV series, soaps, entertainment and sports shows.

It will be banned in all children’s and news programmes and in UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

UK legislation bans tobacco, alcohol, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk being used in product placement. Ofcom has also prohibited the paid-for placement of products and services that cannot be advertised on TV, such as weapons or escort agencies.

Under the rules, product placement must not impair broadcasters’ editorial independence and must be editorially justified. They state that programmes cannot be created or distorted so that they become vehicles for product placement.

New rules will also permit radio stations to use commercial references within programming – although not in news or children’s programming.

Product placement will be banned from any BBC licence fee-funded services.

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