Off the fence - Has advertiser-funded programming finally takenoff?

YES - David Peters Head of sponsorship, Carat

AFP has had many false dawns, so I hesitate to say yes. However, enough things have changed - not least the willingness of programme commissioners to judge ad-funded programmes in the same way they'd judge any other programme pitched to them, and the ability of advertisers to amortise the cost of content through distribution in digital channels which simply didn't exist even two years ago.

NO - Simon George Founding partner Drum

Advertiser-funded programming will only really take off when all broadcasters truly want a partnership rather than just the money. When these programmes are transmitted in peak time, when the regulations on product placement are relaxed, when more commissioning editors truly accept the fact that getting into bed with a brand can result in excellent programming.

YES - Nick Walford Managing director MindShare Performance

Programme budgets are under pressure and clients can help fund budget deficits. There is an evolution of expertise and a greater realisation from clients and agencies that programme quality is the key. Multimedia distribution is both the key to success and the challenge - linear TV content alone is not enough.

NO - Chris Hayward Head of investment ZenithOptimedia

The question implies the development of AFP has been dormant. Not so. Agencies and clients have learned how to use it and have understood there has to be a market for such material. We could be at a stage when there is a reappraisal. In a tough TV market, budgets are under pressure. The need for high quality programmes remains and the time is right to encourage the development of AFP.

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