Ofcom opens the door to product placement on UK television

Commercial broadcasters are set to benefit from paid-for product placement in television programmes under rules proposed by Ofcom, the communications industries regulator.

Product placement will be allowed in films, TV series, entertainment shows and sports programmes, but not in children’s and news programmes, UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

There will be a ban on the product placement of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk. Ofcom is also proposing to ban the placement of products and services that cannot be advertised on television, including weapons.

Under the rules, advertisers would not be permitted to pay to influence story lines. Ofcom is also proposing to liberalise the rules on paid-for references to brands and products in radio programmes.

“Both sets of proposals are designed to enable commercial broadcasters to access new revenue streams where possible, whilst protecting audiences,” Ofcom said.

It follows the Government’s decision earlier this year to allow product placement, in line with changes to EU legislation. Following consultation the new rules will be incorporated in the UK at the end of 2010, the regulator said.

source: telegraph.co.uk

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