Advertiser body ISBA says that it recognises that its opposition to paid-for product placement might be seen as uncharacteristic but it believes that the plans will lead to the double disadvantage of higher costs for advertisers and more complaints from the viewing public.
ISBA’s position comes as the proposals for product placement by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport come under fire from the British Medical Association and other bodies.
ISBA distinguished between paid-for product placement, where advertisers would in future have to pay to place their products on screen, and the current system of unpaid prop placement “which has evolved relatively inconspicuously over the years” in its submission to the proposals.
BBC shows such as Spooks (pictured) have come under fire for intrusive product placement. The espionage thriller was criticized for featuring Apple laptops last year.
Bob Wootton, media and advertising director at ISBA says: “Advertisers are concerned that the existing low-cost system of prop placement will be closed off and that broadcasters will drive them into more expensive paid-for product placement.
“Advertisers paying more to place their products might then naturally expect to see them placed more prominently and it is this increased visibility that may well increase complaints from viewers.”
The consultation period regarding the proposals ends on Friday (8 January).