Product placement ban lifted; logo to follow


UK TV programmers and networks will soon get a boost of revenue, as that country’s regulator Ofcom lifted a ban on product placements on programming late last year. But there’s a catch—beginning 2/28 they have to include a new “P” logo on-screen. The ruling includes clothing worn by characters or any mention of a particular brand during a program. Product placement will be allowed in films, dramas and documentaries, TV series, soaps, entertainment and sports. However, it will be banned in all children’s and news programming and in UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programs. The original ruling had only been in place on UK-produced programs, with the thought that it could harm editorial independence.

The UK government gave the thumbs up on product placements in December after a change to UK and EU legislation. But when the “P” logo makes its debut, it will appear for three seconds at the start and end of shows, as well as after ad breaks.

UK legislation continues to ban tobacco, alcohol, weapons, escort agencies, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk being used in product placement.

RBR-TVBR observation: According to reports, some experts believe it could raise more than $160,000,000 a year for struggling networks that many felt were at a disadvantage in global media budgets. Seems a bit strange that viewers would not know a product placement when it hit them in the face—but just in case, the “P” should leave no doubts that the show contains them. The good news is it doesn’t appear during the ad itself. There would be many less product placement buys made if that were the case.