Saturday 24 March 2018

More time to review product placement

Peter Flanagan

THE BROADCASTING Authority of Ireland has extended the deadline for submissions on its proposal to loosen regulations on product placement.

The BAI has put the deadline back by a fortnight to January 21, in order to "provide interested contributors with additional time to engage in the process".

Under the revised advertising code the BAI is proposing, more American-style advertising could be coming to Irish television. The broadcasting regulator wants to allow Irish broadcasters to include paid product placement in drama and light entertainment, including weekly soaps, comedy, reality television shows and lifestyle programmes.

It would not be permitted in news and current affairs, children's programmes, documentaries and sports broadcasts.

Product placement involves a company paying for its products to be used in a programme. Its most obvious incarnation has been in Hollywood movies -- the last two James Bond films have featured almost exclusively Sony electronics. Up to now it has been officially banned from Irish broadcasting but has been evident in any number of programmes.

Now the BAI is poised to formalise a process that has been unofficially accepted for some time. BAI chief executive Michael O'Keeffe said: "The draft proposals recognise the reality of paid product placement as a new and potentially important source of revenue for Irish broadcasters.

"However, the Authority also acknowledges the need to protect the interests of Irish television viewers. It is for this reason that the Draft Revised Code will permit paid placement but only in instances where it complies with a broad range of rules outlined in the Code."

Irish Independent

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