Entertainment & Arts

Product placement on British TV gets go-ahead in 2011

Emmerdale
Image caption Emmerdale is one of the shows that will be affected

Product placement is to be allowed on British TV programmes for the first time from next year, Ofcom has ruled.

From 28 February, paid-for references to products and services will be permitted in shows including soaps and one-off dramas.

But restrictions will remain on children's and religious programming and news and current affairs.

The rules for radio change on 20 December 2010, with commercial references allowed during shows.

The changes reflect new UK legislation, following the government's decision earlier this year to allow product placement in UK TV programmes.

From February, it will be allowed in films, TV series, entertainment shows and sports programmes.

However, current laws banning the placement of tobacco and alcohol, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk will continue to be enforced.

Ofcom will also enforce the continued ban on services and products that cannot be advertised on television, such as weapons or escort agencies.

Commercial broadcasters who intend to carry product placements will begin an awareness campaign in the New Year, which will include slots during advertisement breaks.

Sponsorship

The new rules state that product placement must be editorially justified and must not impair broadcasters' editorial independence.

TV sponsorship rules have been relaxed allowing products to be shown during programmes.

Also programmes featuring product placement must show a logo, which Ofcom will issue in the New Year, for a minimum of three seconds at the start and end of a show.

The logo must also appear at the end of all advert breaks.

The radio rules will now allow commercial references to be included within shows rather then being confined to ad breaks.

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