Definition - Article 1(1)(m)
Product placement means any form of audiovisual commercial communication consisting of the inclusion of or reference to a product, a service or the trade mark thereof so that it is featured within a programme, in return for payment or for similar consideration.
Product placement, in contrast to sponsorship
messages, is, built into the action of a programme whereas sponsor references
may be shown during the programme but are not part of the plot.
Requirements for derogation - Article 11
Product placement against payment is only allowed in certain kinds of programmes (cinematographic works, films and series made for audiovisual media service, sports and light entertainment programmes). It is prohibited in children's programmes. In contrast product placement provided free of charge (production props or prizes) is allowed in all programmes including children's programmes.
However Member States are able to adopt stricter rules and choose to opt-out of such provisions allowing product placement totally or partially, for example by prohibiting product placement in some programmes, such as documentaries.
Programmes featuring product placement should comply with a set of criteria, such as editorial independence of the media service provider and no undue prominence given to the product or service referred to. Moreover, product placement may not be used in order to promote supply of the products or services.
Further, viewers must be clearly informed about the existence of product placement therefore product placement should be appropriately identified at the start and at the end of the programme and when programme resumes after an advertising break. However, Member States may decide not to apply this requirement to programmes that have neither been produced nor commissioned by the media service provider itself.
Product placement of tobacco products and medicinal products for prescription is prohibited under any circumstances.
Where product placement is surreptitious it should also be prohibited
The rules on product placement should only apply to programmes produced after 19 December 2009.
"product placement" means any form of audiovisual commercial communication consisting of the inclusion of or reference to a product, a service or the trade mark thereof so that it is featured within a programme, in return for payment or for similar consideration;
1. Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 shall apply only to programmes produced after 19 December 2009.
2. Product placement shall be prohibited.
3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, product placement shall be admissible in the following cases unless a Member State decides otherwise:
(a) in cinematographic works, films and series made for audiovisual media services, sports programmes and light entertainment programmes;
(b) where there is no payment but only the provision of certain goods or services free of charge, such as production props and prizes, with a view to their inclusion in a programme.
The derogation provided for in point (a) shall not apply to children's programmes.
Programmes that contain product placement shall meet at least all of the following requirements:
(a) their content and, in the case of television broadcasting, their scheduling shall in no circumstances be influenced in such a way as to affect the responsibility and editorial independence of the media service provider;
(b) they shall not directly encourage the purchase or rental of goods or services, in particular by making special promotional references to those goods or services;
(c) they shall not give undue prominence to the product in question;
(d) viewers shall be clearly informed of the existence of product placement. Programmes containing product placement shall be appropriately identified at the start and the end of the programme, and when a programme resumes after an advertising break, in order to avoid any confusion on the part of the viewer.
By way of exception, Member States may choose to waive the requirements set out in point (d) provided that the programme in question has neither been produced nor commissioned by the media service provider itself or a company affiliated to the media service provider.
4. In any event programmes shall not contain product placement of:
(a) tobacco products or cigarettes or product placement from undertakings whose principal activity is the manufacture or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products;
(b) specific medicinal products or medical treatments available only on prescription in the Member State under whose jurisdiction the media service provider falls.