First product placement appears on UK TV


ITV show ‘This Morning’ was the first UK TV programme to feature product placement under new advertising rules last week. A Nescafe coffee machine appeared on ITV programme This Morning after the company paid a £100,000 fee.

The three-month deal is the first instance of product placement on a British show since television regulations were relaxed. Viewers watching shows featuring product placement will now see a P logo appear before the show to alert them.



The new alert for product placement will appear before a show and after breaks. The new rules state brands shown on air must be suitable for the programmes they are featured in.

The advertising of gambling, alcohol, tobacco, junk food, medicine or baby milk is banned.
Product placement will also be barred from all children's programming, news, current affairs and religious shows.

The television watchdog Ofcom announced the move to relax commercial programming guidelines in December last year, following a decline in advertising revenues.

According to new research from YouGov, half of viewers think the practice is neither good nor bad, while 23% believe it’s a negative thing – 7% says it’s ‘very bad’ – and a only 14% regard it as positive.

Consumers don’t expect product placement to have much of an upside for protagonists, either – 70% of respondents believe that seeing a brand in a TV show or film will not change their perceptions of it.

Thirty percent of respondents say ITV is the most appropriate channel for product placement, closely followed by Dave (29%). Deemed least suitable are MTV and Discovery, with only 9% and 8%, respectively, in favour.

“What, where when and how product messages are placed will be key, and marketers need to be cautious of alienating rather than attracting potential brand advocates, and of overt intrusion into the viewing experience,” says Adele Gritten, head of media consulting at YouGov. “However, consumers accept the commercial realities of the day and the currently planned changes are unlikely to detract from viewer enjoyment overall. Time will tell as to which brands get the correct channel/programme fit and which ones nurture the right kind of relationship with their viewers, rather than simply bombarding them.”

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