Many of Britain’s top TV programmes could feature product placement within months. The move allowing programme-makers to take payment to promote products within their show – a British television first – is set to be given final approval by media regulator Ofcom this week and come into force from February.
Many industry experts suggest there is also potential for viewers to press a button on their remote control that would allow them to purchase something they have seen on screen.
As it is publicly funded, the BBC would not feature any such deals, but the move will delight commercial broadcasters – as it could bring in £200 million a year.
Ofcom is expected to allow product placement on the caveat that it must not impair editorial independence. It will be banned from all news, current affairs, religious and children’s programming – but not from family shows such as The X Factor. Product placement for tobacco, alcohol, gambling services and unhealthy foods will not be allowed.