Ofcom consults on product placement

Ofcom the media regulator has further opened the door to product placement stating that it will welcome “cautious approach to the introduction of product placement to the funding mix of UK commercial television has merit.”

The regulator has reacted to a draft revision to the Television Without Frontiers directive submitted on 13 December, which proposes further liberalisation to the rules governing televsion advertising and will now take further steps to examine how this proposed liberalisation could be interpreted and applied in the UK broadcasting market "in a manner which clearly informs the viewer and safeguards critical editorial and programme genres."

The areas that Ofcom is set to investigate include, the genres of programmes that could be allowed to carry product placement, the measures needed to ensure viewer transparency; whether the concept of undue prominence can be retained if product placement is permitted; and to what degree there needs to be consistency with the Broadcast Advertising Code in product placement scenarios.

Ofcom also said that, as part of the consultation with the industry, it would be looking at product placement across  radio.

The regulator stated that; "in addition to seeking views from stakeholders on a degree of deregulation of product placement on television, Ofcom is also seeking views on whether, in principle, deregulation of product placement should also be considered for radio."

The consulation is open until 8 March 2006.

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