New Product Placement Rules-May 2011

Frequent viewers of the latest Hollywood films may be immune to it but Irish broadcasting bosses have traditionally never warmed to the idea of James Bond openly exhibiting the latest Aston Martin or BMW as part of the movie or the promotion of Absolut Vodka as part of the Sex and the City movie.

As the use of digital video recording becomes more common and brings with it the ability for viewers to fast forward through the traditional advertising breaks Irish TV stations will no doubt be happy after the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) reviewed its existing codes of practice and announced a change to the rules on paid product placement.

The BAI has now announced that from 02/05/11 paid product placement will be permitted on Irish television. New General and Children’s Commercial Communications Codes will be published in the coming weeks which will give effect to the change. Up until this point product placement had only been allowed if it was not paid for and deliberate. In recent years some popular programs such as “The Apprentice” had been the subject of upheld complaints to the BAI that they contained obvious commercial content without notification.

From 02/05/011 paid product placement will be permitted in the following types of programming: films, sport, tv drama (excluding docu-dramas) and light entertainment (although chat shows may yet be excluded). Sponsors of tv programmes will be permitted to place their products and services in the program that they sponsor although their will be exceptions in the case of children’s programs. Broadcasters will be obliged to notify viewers before and after the show that it contains product placement.