/ 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.

It’s getting worse by the day ! Ofcom seem to be favouring the provider rather than the viewer. I complained last year about the grim reapers that are promoting funeral plans and in turn inflating funeral costs not to mention the guilt trips that they are putting parents and off springs alike on. Now there’s a strong possibility that they will slip them into our programs now. T.V. is bad enough as it is. I can just imagine it – someone dies in a soap and they will all be attending the wake in their particular local and the Widow/er comes out with “I don’t know how I’d managed without this funeral plan”, The Samaritans will be inundated with calls from lonely Seniors whom have had to endure it in the commercials and are now besieged with it in their favourite soap ! This is a hypothetical scenario , nevertheless it’s closer to the truth than you think. Ofcom should rethink this one, for sure !

Sandra says:
3 January 2019

I think that in today’s society everything is looked upon as accepted. I hate TV commercials that encourage betting and it really annoys me that Ofcom is on the side of the side of these people to help promote the betting/ gambling. Why also is it allowed to have swearing on the TV? I know that there is a watershed, but the time should be later, and the language used is just vile.
Why can’t we go back to have proper television programmes that were made for all the family to watch, or the adult programmes that we not sexually explicit and full of swearing.
My comments are because although I am quite young myself, I believe that this wave in so called culture on television and film; actually encourages bad behaviour to children; as they see characters as role models !!