BBC probe gives clean chit on product placement allegations

MUMBAI: The BBC has completed an investigation into allegations of product placement and product prominence made in the Sunday Times in the UK.

The investigation, which was conducted by BBC's chief adviser for editorial policy Claire Powell, began after a report in the Sunday Times last month claimed that businesses paid thousands of pounds to get their products shown on BBC TV programmes.



The investigation found that a number of people in independent production companies working for the BBC were offered an unspecified payment by an undercover Sunday Times reporter in exchange for featuring products on air and the BBC "is deeply reassured" that in every case this offer was refused. In none of the programmes investigated did anyone give guarantees that a product would be featured if it was supplied for free or at a reduced cost.

In many cases where the Sunday Times alleged that products seen in programmes had been supplied for free by companies, the investigation found that they had either in fact been paid for by the programme, or in one case was personal property lent to the programme by a member of the production team.

The investigation found that in every case where products had been sourced for free, this was done in accordance with the BBC's guidelines. However, the investigation found that in some of the programmes reviewed there were instances of product prominence which were not fully editorially justified.

Whilst inclusion of the products was justified, the way that they were shot went beyond the minimum visibility recommended in the BBC's guidelines. In no instance was there an inducement to feature them on air.

In addition, the investigation noted that an independent programme maker had acknowledged he had been unwise to entertain a hypothetical conversation with an undercover reporter about featuring a product in a programme in production.



However, it found evidence that the programme maker had rightly pointed out the BBC's guidelines to the reporter and in addition in a meeting immediately following the discussion had made clear to his programme team that the offer was not to be pursued.

In any event, no product appeared on air as a result of the approach and no guarantees were ever given. The BBC will issue more comprehensive guidance to programme makers on product placement and product prominence and to heighten the awareness of programme makers in this area in the light of this investigation.

BBC Television director Jana Bennett, said, "Viewers expect realism in modern drama and entertainment and the BBC's guidelines set out how products may appear in programmes to achieve this.

"I am satisfied that this thorough investigation has confirmed to us that production teams working for the BBC acted with integrity in dealing with offers of payment in exchange for featuring products.



"However, I expect all BBC television programmes to maintain the highest standards of compliance in relation to the BBC's guidelines. To ensure this, constant vigilance is necessary.

"I accept the recommendation of the investigation that a programme to ensure increased awareness of the BBC's rules on product placement and product prominence should begin immediately.

"We will also work on ensuring that where necessary programme makers are given additional support in ensuring that programmes fully comply with our rules before transmission."


Latest Reads
betterU launches Diwali campaign #FestivalOfLearning

India’s online learning marketplace, betterU, has launched a unique Diwali campaign #FestivalOfLearning across its digital platforms.The campaign aims at helping people think differently about their purchases, and highlights the importance of investing for the long term on the auspicious occasion...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
BBH India creates live radio spots for Abbott

BBH Mumbai has released a case study on the first ever live radio spots for Abbott's The Race of Possible’ campaign, which received overwhelming response in India.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Abhibus's 'Har Safar Mein Aapka Hamsafar' Mahesh Babu, India’s online bus ticket booking platform, has announced superstar Mahesh Babu as their brand ambassador. He will also feature in the company`s marketing campaign called 'Har Safar Mein Aapka Hamsafar' (With you on all your journeys, wherever you go).

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Posterscope rolls out 'Frooti' OOH campaign

MUMBAI: Posterscope India from Dentsu Aegis Network has rolled out a massive OOH campaign for Frooti to make the consumers Live #TheFrootiLife. The core objective of the campaign is to create high visibility and impact for Frooti in the OOH space. Targeted at audiences aged between 15-35 years, the...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Q2-17: DB Corp revenue up, radio operating profit doubles

DB Corp Limited (DB Corp), home to flagship newspapers Dainik Bhaskar, Divya Bhaskar, Dainik Divya Marathi and Saurashtra Samachar reported 10.5 percent higher consolidated revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter....

MAM Marketing Brands
P Mark TVC features Boman Irani

MUMBAI: P Mark, the front-runner in the mustard oil segment in India, has unveiled its new TV campaign ‘one specialist to another’. Reinforcing its commitment as specialists and educating the masses about the taste, the new TVC pays tribute to P Mark’s exceptional taster in the category.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Officer's Choice Blue snacks launches a new TVC campaign

Officer’s Choice Blue has launched a new advertising campaign ‘Salute to Banta Hai’ - communication that repurposes its long-standing platform of the ‘Good Samaritan’. The four TVC’s narrate testing situations, in slices of everyday life, and defines their actions to make for a better and caring...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
Interactive Television's Buzz Index to help advertisers make smart investment in movies

Interactive Television, a unit of WPP, has launched ‘Buzz index’- a revolutionary buzz measuring tool for helping advertisers to make informed decisions for cinema advertising.

MAM Media and Advertising Media Agencies
India's AdEx revised to Rs 62,483 cr. by EEMA; includes 'experiential' with 13.6 per cent share

MUMBAI: ‘Experiential Marketing’ or the concept of creating a bond between the consumer and the brand beyond ‘buying and selling’ by immersing them in an experience, is an underrated and underrepresented form of marketing, several marketers guiltily admit.

MAM Marketing MAM

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories