Sunday, 13 September 2009

UK approves TV product placement - are we heading for The Truman Show?

Traditional media is going through considerable change; some wonder if and in what format printed newspapers will survive (Ben M noticed UK newspaper loyalty schemes) while interruption-marketing such as TV advertising is trying to work out how to cope with falling revenues (not simply recession-driven as they would have us believe).

Until now UK TV channels have been fined if company logos are not obscured or covered.

According to the BBC the government now believes that placement should be allowed in some circumstances and will announce the change next week.

Product placement will not be permissible for the BBC or children's programmes on any channel.

As with paid blogs it's essential that viewers know that this promotion has taken part. My knee-jerk reaction was that this move has to be a a bad thing however as the BBC article points out, we are already watching masses of imported shows from the US and sports events already carry a large amount of sponsorship. Movies and rock concerts are full of product placement too.

In a world where TV and other interruption advertising has is becoming less and less effective (no one is paying attention unless they choose to) this move provides a revenue stop-gap.

The big question is where does 'push' or 'interruption' marketing go next?

Maybe we are not heading for The Truman Show however marketers and production companies need be careful; if product placement gets silly viewers will simply vote with their remotes and everyone will lose.

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