RTE will have to tell 'Fair City' viewers before each episode that the soap contains product placement after it agreed a €900,000 advertising deal with a convenience-store chain.
Spar said last night that it was looking forward to becoming "part of the storyline and script" when it features as the revamped corner store in 'Fair City' over the next three years.
The deal is the first paid product-placement deal of its size on an Irish drama. It will see Phelan's corner shop rebranded as a Spar.
'Fair City' regularly attracts half-a-million viewers and the deal follows an announcement by ITV that 'Coronation Street' is receiving a six-figure sum to feature a Nationwide ATM in its broadcasts.
But the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland has warned RTE will have to ensure that 'Fair City' complies with its new commercial communication code which was introduced recently with strict new conditions for product placement.
This will require RTE to state before the show is aired that it contains product placement, a BCI spokesman said.
RTE said the editor-in-chief of 'Fair City' would ensure there were no gratuitous references or prominence given to Spar.