Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in July

Monthly commercial law update: Top 5 developments in July

Yes folks it really is August. Summer’s short lease is nearing its end.

For those of you who are still in the office (and not on a beach somewhere hot and exotic), why not take five minutes out and read about this month’s top 5 commercial law developments, as chosen by the team at Comet.

Advertising and marketing: product placement

Businesses are increasingly asking, against the background of their growing popularity, what are the restrictions on product placement and native advertising?

As a general rule, the product must ‘fit in’ with the programme and not the other way around.

It is clear that there has been a decline in viewers watching scheduled television with commercial breaks, as many now favour ‘on demand’ viewing, digital recording or Internet streaming.

This trend has been instrumental in the growth of product placement.

Also, consumer-savvy customers are becoming increasingly defensive to overt and traditional forms of advertising—product placement has become more prevalent, possibly as a result of this.

Lawyers typically need to look at three main areas in this area:

  • control—the extent of the advertiser’s control over how, when and where the product appears needs to be set out very early in negotiations and in clear terms in the contract
  • exit route—as many product placement agreements are ongoing, the advertiser needs a quick and clean exit route if it is not satisfied with the exposure the programme/film producers are giving it or if events give rise to an adverse association (eg the programme for whatever reason attracting negative publicity), and
  • price—the price the advertiser pays will need to reflect the amount of control they are granted, expected viewing numbers, category exclusivity, repeats and brand/programme compatibility.

Constitutional law: BIS issues report on balance of competencies in consumer and competition law policy

The Department for Business and Skills has published its report on the balance of competencies between the EU and the UK on consumer

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