UK to oppose EU plans on product placement

Variety reports that U.K. shuts out product placement - which is kind of correct. The UK currently doesn't allow paid for product placement on BBC televison programmes already, so they're basically just saying they probably won't in the future either. To read what the minister who said it 'contaminates programs' really said, see the full secretary of state speech to the convergence think tank here.
Andy Burnham began with some dry british humor;

I’ve been doing something dangerous for a politician in recent weeks - I’ve been thinking. And rather than keep these thoughts to myself, I thought the right thing to do in these unusual circumstances I find myself in was to come and share this thinking with our think tank and, hopefully, add something to your important deliberations.

but he got serious:

As a viewer, I don’t want to feel the script has been written by the commercial marketing director.
If Jim Royle gets out of his chair for a Kit Kat, I want to think, “he fancies a Kit Kat’ - not, “Kit Kat my arse!’
If I thought it was because someone has paid for him to eat one it would change the way I felt about the programme.

All of this is in response to the EU's proposed ad rules which back product placement (article from 2005).

Product placement is seldom this good, but we all remember the Junior mint episode, don't we?

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (2)

  • alex's picture

    When I was a kid, I used to find it amusing that children's magazine programme Blue Peter used to studiously avoid mentioning actual products, even when it was blindingly obvious which products they were using. For example, on one programme they showed you how to make clothes for your 'soldier doll', while blatantly using Action Man as a model. They'd use Cellotape (you could see the logo) but invariably referred to 'sticky tape' etc. Taking things a bit far, I thought, but then this was the 70s and I don't think anyone thought about 'product placement' then - this was the BBC, and no advertising was allowed. In theory.

    Jun 16, 2008
  • Neo's picture

    "Who's gonna turn down a junior mint? It's chocolate, it's peppermint, it's delicious!" /Kramer

    Jun 16, 2008