Definition - Article 1(1)(k)
Sponsorship means any contribution made by undertakings or natural persons not engaged in the provision or production of audiovisual works, to the financing of audiovisual media services or programmes with a view to promoting their name, trade mark, image, activities or products.
The decisive criterion distinguishing sponsorship from product placement is the fact that in product placement the reference to product is built into the action of a programme. In contrast, sponsor references may be shown during programme but are not part of a plot.
Distinction between sponsorship and advertising spot should be drawn using the purpose of these forms of audiovisual commercial communications. The purpose of sponsorship is to promote sponsor's name, trademark, image, activities or products by contributing to the financing of programmes. The sponsored programmes, unlike advertising, may not make special promotional references.
Requirements - Article 10
Sponsors shall influence neither the content nor the scheduling of the programme. They shall not encourage the purchase of a product or service.
They must be clearly identified as such in an appropriate way for programmes at the beginning, during and/or the end of the programmes
Pharmaceutical companies may sponsor broadcasts but will still not be able to promote specific medicines or medical treatments. Sponsorship of programmes by undertakings whose main activity is manufacture or sales of tobacco products is prohibited.
News and current affairs programmes may not be sponsored.
Member States may choose to prohibit the showing of a sponsorship logo during children's programmes, documentaries and religious programmes.
"sponsorship" means any contribution made by public or private undertakings or natural persons not engaged in providing audiovisual media services or in the production of audiovisual works, to the financing of audiovisual media services or programmes with a view to promoting their name, trade mark, image, activities or products;
1. Audiovisual media services or programmes that are sponsored shall meet 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) viewers shall be clearly informed of the existence of a sponsorship agreement. Sponsored programmes shall be clearly identified as such by the name, logo and/or any other symbol of the sponsor such as a reference to its product(s) or service(s) or a distinctive sign thereof in an appropriate way for programmes at the beginning, during and/or at the end of the programmes.
2. Audiovisual media services or programmes shall not be sponsored by undertakings whose principal activity is the manufacture or sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
3. The sponsorship of audiovisual media services or programmes by undertakings whose activities include the manufacture or sale of medicinal products and medical treatment may promote the name or the image of the undertaking, but shall not promote specific medicinal products or medical treatments available only on prescription in the Member State within whose jurisdiction the media service provider falls.
4. News and current affairs programmes shall not be sponsored. Member States may choose to prohibit the showing of a sponsorship logo during children's programmes, documentaries and religious programmes.