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Product placement TV code agreed

17 November 08 14:09 GMT

ITV and independent TV producers have signed up to a code of conduct should proposals for product placement during TV shows win government approval.

Ministers are consulting on the proposals which permit EU Member States to allow paid for product placement in certain types of programmes.

One of the features of the code include a logo that would appear on screen to indicate a brand's presence.

The government is likely to make its decision early next year.

"Product placement could be an innovative and important new revenue stream for ad-funded, commercial broadcasters, at a time when advertising revenues are declining," said Rupert Howell, managing director, ITV brand and commercial.

Editorially justified

Pact, the trade body for independent producers, is supporting the code for the regulated introduction of product placement. Virgin Media TV and Discovery are also backing the scheme.

The joint code states that a programme producer would decide how any products are incorporated into the content, so long as it is editorially justified, and would ensure it is not too prominent.

Additionally, product placement opportunities would first be identified after a script had been finalised by the production team.

Brands would then be approached by a non-editorial team and commercial terms agreed.

"This code demonstrates that the industry can, and will, regulate itself to keep standards of UK programming high," Dawn Simpson, Pact's senior policy executive said.

Culture secretary Andy Burnham launched the consultation into product placement in the UK in July.

At the time, the government said its initial view was not to change the current UK ban but the consultation would explore the possibility of overturning it.

Under the proposals being considered, product placement would be allowed in certain types of programme such as drama and entertainment, but not permitted in news, current affairs, consumer advice or children's programming.

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