/ Food & Drink, Technology

Are Ofcom’s new product placement rules right?

Couple watching TV in dark

New product placement rules come into force in February – allowing brands to be the stars of TV shows. But do you agree with these changes – or is television heading down a slippery slope?

Earlier this week, Ofcom announced that it’s relaxing the rules on product placement. From 28 February, broadcasters will have more freedom in the way they feature brands and products in their programmes.

So, will we soon have to vet children’s TV before we let our kids watch the box and have bottles of branded booze ruining evening dramas? Luckily, no. Ofcom may have lightened the load for companies, but it’s also put some sensible restrictions in place.

How will product placement work?

For a start, there will be a new on-screen logo alerting viewers when programmes contain product placement. This has to appear for a few seconds at the start and end of the show.

Products aren’t allowed to be promoted on children’s programmes, news or current affairs shows. And placement of alcohol, tobacco and foods that are high in salt and sugar are also ruled out.

This is pretty good news for us, as our Senior Advocate, Mette Kahlin explains.

‘In our research, people told us that they didn’t mind TV product placements in general but that they were concerned about gambling, alcohol, & unhealthy food being promoted on TV.

‘On the back of this research, we told the government and Ofcom what people wanted and then campaigned for it. We got what we asked for! We’re really pleased that we got such a sensible solution and that consumers were listened to when it comes to product placement.’

In an era of declining advertising there is a real need to find new sources of revenue to help fund new TV content, so some form of product placement makes sense. But are you as happy as us with these results – or would you prefer even stricter restrictions?


This is very sad news. It is difficult to believe that no-one has commented in the last 5 months.

I can only hope that product placement will not find its way onto BBC radio.


Yes, it’s strange that there hasn’t been much response to this subject. I wonder how much product placement people have actually noticed in the past few months since the rules have changed? I remember seeing some press reports on how it was being used on chat shows like Good Morning, but I haven’t actually noticed any myself. Has anyone else?