Product placement will be allowed in UK TV programmes for the first time, Ofcom confirmed today. Paid-for references for products and services be permitted in programmes from 28 February 2011.
The TV rules reflect new UK legislation, which followed the Government’s backing earlier this year of changes to European broadcasting legislation.
Two new sets of rules – one for TV and one for radio – will enable commercial broadcasters to access new sources of revenue, whilst providing protection for audiences by deciding what can and can’t be shown.
The rules include: restrictions on the types of products that can be placed; restrictions on the types of programmes that can feature the ads; and limits on the way in which products can be seen and referred to in programmes.
Product placement will be allowed in films (including dramas and documentaries), TV series (including soaps), entertainment shows and sports programmes. However, they will be prohibited in all children’s and news programmes and in UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.
The product placement of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk is banned by UK legislation.
For radio, any commercial arrangements that result in on-air references to products or brands must be made clear to the audience, while TV viewers will see a logo before programmes carrying product placement.