UK to oppose EU plans on product placement

The British Government will not agree to a new European Union Directive that allows product placement on TV, according Culture Secretary Andy Burnham. He told the Convergence Think Tank the move would “contaminate” programming.

Burnham (pictured) made the comments today (June 11) in a speech to the Government’s Convergence Think Tank. He added that the move would risk further harming trust in TV, which has been affected by last year’s phone-in scandals, and that as a viewer he did not “want to feel the script has been written by the commercial marketing director.”

He says that there should be a firm line on screen between editorial content and advertising.” I can see the arguments and benefits of product placements and I understand why people feel it is inevitable given the pressures they are under. But I can also see the costs. There is a risk product placement exacerbates this decline in trust [in TV] and contaminates our programmes.”

The TV and advertising industry had hoped that rules around product placement would be reduced to make more opportunities for advertising on TV. It comes revenue from traditional advertising on TV continues to decline.

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