New rules permitting product placement in television programmes will come into force on 28 February 2011. The framework for the placement of commercial products, services and trademarks is set out in a revised Section 9 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, published in December 2010. Ofcom has liberalised the rules following a change in law at EU level (The Audiovisual Services Directive 2007) and the implementing UK legislation (The Product Placement Regulations 2010).
Product placement has been previously prohibited in the UK. The revised Code allows placement in specified permitted genres only, including films, television series, sports programmes and light entertainment programmes. Placement will not be permitted in news, current affairs and children’s programmes. As expected, certain categories of products are specifically excluded. Cigarettes, alcohol and food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar are amongst the prohibited products.
Domestic programmes are subject to more stringent regulation than programmes acquired from overseas. Programmes produced or commissioned by Ofcom-regulated broadcasters must also include a logo advising viewers that the programme contains placement. A more detailed summary of the new rules is contained in the soon to be published Winter edition of our Media Law Bulletin.
If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact Paul Herbert (email@example.com), or any other member of Goodman Derrick LLP's Media team on 0207 404 0606.
This guide is for general information only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice.
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