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Ofcom to allow product placement on UK television from February

Ofcom will formally allow product placement on UK television from February 2011 under changed broadc

Following consultation with the industry, the media regulator published a set of rules that will govern the promotion of products on television. It said that the new rules would be part of the broadcasting code from the end of February.

The new rules "will enable commercial broadcasters to access new sources of revenue, whilst providing protection for audiences," said Ofcom.

According to the new product placement guidelines, broadcasters will have to air an on-screen logo, which the Ofcom is to unveil in the new year, for a minimum of three minutes before and after airing programmes containing product placement.

Based on legislation passed by parliament earlier this year, films (which in this case includes dramas and documentaries), TV series including soap operas, entertainment shows and sports programmes are allowed to use product placement.

However, product placement will not be allowed in children's programming or news programmes. It will also not be permitted in current affairs shows produced in the UK and in religious programmes.

Placement of alcohol, tobacco products, gambling, medicines, baby milk and foods that are high in sugar or salt will also be barred.