The Independent Television Commission’s (ITC) new sponsorship code, published this week, will allow advertisers to visually feature their products in TV sponsorship provided the image reflects the relationship between the sponsor and the programme. The move is likely to drive up the price of deals.
The relaxed ITC sponsorship code also lifts the ban on sponsoring specific segments of a programme so long as the sponsor credits are sandwiched between the strand and a commercial break.
In practice this means that if, for example, a beauty company wants to sponsor a makeover slot on a breakfast programme, the sponsor credit can appear either before or after that segment provided it is either followed or preceded by a break.
The rules which prohibit sponsorship of news, current affairs and consumer advice programmes will continue, to prevent advertisers influencing editorial content.
The sponsorship of business and finance programming will no longer be specifically prohibited, but they may be unsponsorable if they fall into a news category.
Blair Kremple, managing director of Sponsor Vision, which handled high profile TV sponsorships such as Cadbury’s and Coronation Street and The Sun and Lock Stock, says: “The code continues to progress in allowing greater freedom while keeping the distinction between sponsorship and spot advertising.”