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TV product placement logo launched

  • Published: Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Product placement will be be allowed in UK TV programmes for the first time from 28 February 2011. To let viewers know if a TV programme contains product placement, a special logo has been designed. All UK TV programmes that contain product placement will have to show this logo.

Rules for product placement on TV

To protect TV audiences against the advertising of inappropriate products or services, Ofcom has set restrictions on:

  • the types of products that can be placed
  • the types of programmes in which products can be placed
  • the way in which products can be seen and referred to in programmes

Product placement will be allowed in films (including dramas and documentaries), TV series (including soaps), entertainment shows and sports programmes. However, it will be banned in all children’s and news programmes and in UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

The product placement of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, medicines and baby milk is banned. Ofcom has also banned the paid-for placement of products and services that can’t be advertised on television, such as weapons or escort agencies.

All product placement has to be justified and products or services can’t be given too much promotion during the programme. This is to stop programmes being created or distorted simply to advertise products or services.

Product placement logo

TV product placement logo

If a TV programme contains product placement, the channel has to show a special logo. The logo is pictured to the left.

This will let viewers know that the TV channel, or the programme-maker, has been paid to include products in that programme.

The logo has to be shown at the beginning of the programme, and repeated after any advertising break during the programme. It also has to be shown again at the end of the programme.

TV channels don’t have to show the logo on programmes that were originally broadcast outside the UK (for example, a US drama series that is then shown in the UK).

Product placement on radio

Product placement will be allowed on radio from today. Paid for references to products and services can now be included in radio programmes, but listeners have to be made aware when promotions are paid-for.

Paid-for references to brands and products in news and children’s programming will remain banned.

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