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Brussels is keen to provide a clear legal framework for product placement in the EU's audiovisual media

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Brussels is keen to provide a clear legal framework for product placement in the EU's audiovisual media

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This would secure new revenues for European industry, and help to boost Europe5;s creative economy. Product placement is a reality on European screens today, but operates essentially to the benefit of non-European production and without viewers being informed.

Media commissioner Viviane Reding talked about the contradictions: “Product placement is a complete anarchy. It happens everywhere and there is no regulation on it. So what has been done on the basis of the proposal of the commission is to put this in order and to have clear rules which protect the viewer, which protect the consumer… and which ban product placement – among others -from children’s programmes, and from news programmes.”

To make advertising rules more flexible, in an EU directive, the current three-hour-per-day limit on advertising would be dropped, and broadcasters, not regulators, could choose when to insert advertising in programmes. The 12-minute upper limit on all advertising in any given hour is maintained.