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BAI allows paid product placement on some TV shows

Entertainment shows like The Apprentice will be able to charge for product placement – but children’s and current affairs shows won’t.

Image: Paul Townsend via Flickr

THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland has decided to allow paid product placement on Irish TV shows.

Advertising by companies on television can take place in three ways – as advertisements during scheduled breaks and between shows, as sponsors of a show or series and as product placement.

Brian Furey of the BAI told TheJournal.ie that up until now, paid product placement within a show had not been allowed by the broadcasting watchdog. Today’s announcement means that regulation will be reversed, something that will no doubt come as a relief to shows such as TV3′s The Apprentice.

The show’s producers and TV3 had previously insisted that companies had not been paying for the prominent display of certain products and companies within each episode of the reality show. Brian Furey said that it “could have been considered sponsorship” in a situation where the companies were mentioned at the “top and tail” of each show.

From now on, paid product placement will be allowed in the following areas:

  • In films made for cinema release and for TV, sport, dramas (excluding docu-dramas) and light entertainment programmes (excluding certain types of talk/chat shows);
  • On all TV stations – community, commercial and public service broadcasters (ie, RTE);
  • Sponsor of TV programmes will now be allowed to place their products and services in programmes that they sponsor, except in the case of children’s programmes.

Children’s programmes and shows with more than 20 per cent of news/current affairs content will be prohibited from benefitting from the new paid product placement decision.

Broadcaster will also be obliged to precede the programmes that now use product placement with a written announcement to state that it contains product placement. The names of companies that have paid for product placement must also be listed in the end credits and a logo containing the letters PP will have to be displayed before, during and after programmes using it.

Brian Furey of the BAI said that the regulations were broadly in line with EU recommendations that came in last year.

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