Product placement finally coming to UK telly?
It’s been a major part of American TV for decades now, but it looks as though product placement is coming to the UK, with telly watchdog Ofcom publishing a series of proposals for its introduction over here.
Which, in a nutshell, means that we could soon see Simon Cowell on The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent draped in more logos than your average Formula One driver. Perhaps.
Ofcom say that the guidelines are "designed to enable commercial broadcasters to access revenue streams where possible whilst protecting audiences". But the whole thing will be carefully regulated, with the use of a symbol at the beginning and end of every programme that features product placement. Sort of like Channel Four’s old red triangle but with a different kind of money shot in the middle.
Among stuff that will be banned from being plugged under the proposed guidelines are tobacco, alcohol, gambling, medicine, baby milk and food or drink that is high in fat, salt or sugar.
Additionally, news, current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programming will not include any product placement. Oh, and children's programmes. After all, they wouldn’t want to blur the message that a wide range of Bob The Builder merchandising is available by having him use a Black & Decker drill now would they...?
The Ofcom proposals for product placement can be found here.