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Last Updated: Sunday September 13 2009 13:05 GMT

Product placement allowed on TV

An example of product placement on American Idol

Branded products could soon be appearing far more prominently on your favourite TV shows, as the government's set to lift a ban on product placement.

It means independent TV companies can get money from businesses for showing their products during British shows.

So you could see the X Factor judges with branded drinks cans, or soap characters using certain mobile phones.

It's hoped it will help TV companies raise more money, but the ban will still apply to children's TV shows.

Product placement is already widely used in America, and several countries in Europe have followed their lead.

In Britain, independent broadcasters rely on advertising to get the money they need to make their programmes and pay their bills.

But in recent months the world's money problems have meant lots of businesses are spending far less on advertising.

It's hoped allowing product placement on British TV could raise up to £100million a year.

ITV said if the ban was permanently lifted it would be "warmly welcomed by the commercial broadcasting industry and advertisers alike".