Culture Secretary Andy Burnham (pictured) has outlined Government plans to regulate video-on-demand services and product placement on British TV released today (July 25). Burnham reiterates his opposition to relaxing the rules on product placement but insists he is “open to hearing other views”.
He also sets out plans to regulate video-on-demand for the first time in the UK, and introducing controls over the content of non-European Union satellite channels, which can be viewed in the UK.
The proposals are part of a consultation on how the UK should implement the EU Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. The Directive includes both compulsory and optional elements, some of which are expected to lead to new legislation.
Burnham says: “While citizens embrace the opportunities offered by massively increased choice of content, and can watch on demand on TVs, online or phones, it’s right that the same standards apply.
“My instincts remain that if we were to relax the ban on product placement we would put at risk the integrity in British programming that underpins its international reputation. But I’m open to hearing other views. If, as some in the industry are saying, this is a crucial step for broadcasters, then the industry must marshal strong arguments and put forward a convincing case.”
The AVMS Directive states that all EU member states must prohibit product placement, but they may decide to allow certain exemptions. Product placement is currently banned in any UK-made programmes. The consultation runs for three months and closes on October 31.