Deutsche Welle reports that the European Commission has proposed changes to the Television Without Frontiers Directive that would make trade marks on television more prominent. Most controversial is the proposal to allow product placement in programmes in all European Member States. The Commission recommends that product placement should be allowed on 3 conditions (i) the program must be sponsored and paid-for products feature in the show must announced before the program begins; (ii) no product placement will be allowed in children's shows, news programs or documentaries, and (iii) the advertising of tobacco and prescription drugs won’t be allowed.
Also, the scope of the Directive would be increased to cover Web-based streaming and pay-per-view cable television, as way as terrestrial television programming.
The proposal suggests that the current rule of no more than 12 minutes of advertising per hour of programming be retained.
The IPKat wonders about the effectiveness of product placement which is flagged up to consumers by being announced in advance – it’s not very subtle is it?