ITC gives magazines green light to sponsor TV shows

ITV companies and magazine publishers have given a guarded welcome to a revised code of programme sponsorship, revealed by the Independent Television Commission this week.

The code, as expected, has allowed so-called “masthead” programming on cable and satellite stations. This allows magazine titles to develop TV programmes based on their brands.

But the ITC will continue to ban masthead programming on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

The TV regulator has, however, committed itself to reviewing the ban on masthead programming on the major terrestrial stations after one year. This allows the launch of magazine-branded programmes across all commercial stations in 1998.

The changes clear the way for the National Magazine Company to launch its masthead sponsorship of the Zest Beauty Show on Granada Sky Broadcasting in April.

NatMags is also in discussions with Granada Sky over how to rebrand the broadcaster’s Tried & Tested consumer show, which is produced at the Good Housekeeping Institute offices in London.

David Prosser, head of sponsorship at Carlton UK Sales, welcomes relaxations in other areas of the code. However, he is disappointed by continued restrictions on the use of trademarks and straplines, and limits on credit lengths for short programmes on ITV. “We will continue to lobby for things that make sense and are logical,” he says.

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