Sunday, 27 February 2011
Of course product placement is nothing new on television, but from the end of February 2011, product placement in the UK will be legitimised and regulated by Ofcom with the arrival of their ‘PP’ logo. For a minimum of 3 seconds at the beginning of a programme, after adverts and again at the end, broadcasters will be required to show the PP logo on screen.
Ofcom’s new rules were conceived to allow broadcasters to access new revenue streams, while at the same time protecting viewers. It is this tension that gets to the heart of the matter. That as viewers we are seen as helpless victims of unscrupulous programme-makers in need of protection is bad enough. But for Ofcom to offer a logo to save our souls is pretty pathetic.
Nevertheless Ofcom could be making TV history here in the UK. It is just possible that this is the first time a logotype is held responsible for our visual, financial and moral well-being?
If the world wide web has taught us anything, it is that ‘invasive’ or unsolicited advertising tends to have more of a negative impact on a brand than than a determining one on the consumer.
This issue is moral posturing on the part of Ofcom and the government and tells us little about the effects of design and advertising.