Ben Bradshaw, secretary of state for culture media and sport, is expected to launch a three-month consultation later this week to include proposals allowing commercial broadcasters to charge for allowing brands to display their products during shows.
Product placement is common in the US but has never been sanctioned in the UK. As recently as March, Bradshaw’s predecessor Andy Burnham said that “serious concerns” remained about product placement.
ITV says the move would be “warmly welcomed” by the commercial broadcasting industry and advertisers alike.
“Reforming the UK prohibition would also be a welcome acknowledgement of the pressures currently faced by an industry in transition. New sources of revenue means better-funded content – which can only be good news for viewers,” he says.
Some observers have said that product placement could earn commercial broadcasters £100m a year additional revenues.