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Commercial Influences on Programme Content: The German and UK Approaches to Transposing EU Rules on Product Placement

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Product placement has now been accepted as a permissible feature of contemporary television programming, as a result of changes introduced by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive 2007. But the process of reform and its implementation has manifested a high degree of uncertainty and concern regarding the advisability of such a transformation and its implications. This article discusses the solutions adopted in two countries, Germany and the United Kingdom. It is suggested that neither country has established a regime which enables viewers to have a clear understanding of the relationship between the producers or broadcasters and commercial funding. The replacement of the principle of separation with the principle of identification has exposed programmes to the vagaries of the marketplace even further without increasing transparency for the viewer. With the prospect of increased presence of product placement in the next few years, as production cycles come to reflect the new provisions, it is a matter of concern that better provision has not been made to protect editorial judgment.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/Jml.4.2.159

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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