Product placement
Produced in partnership with Paul Jordan and Jacky Morris of Bristows LLP
Product placement

The following Commercial guidance note Produced in partnership with Paul Jordan and Jacky Morris of Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Product placement
  • What is product placement?
  • Ofcom Broadcast Code
  • Background to allowing product placement on television
  • Purpose of the Code
  • Responsibility for compliance
  • Code main provisions
  • Complaints
  • Enforcement and sanctions

This Practice Note is intended for reference when considering the inclusion of a product or service in a television or radio programme in return for consideration.

It discusses the Ofcom Broadcasting Code (the Code), which sets out the rules that govern which types of products can be placed, which genres of programmes are permitted and how the products can be placed. Office of Communications (Ofcom) has produced guidance on product placement.

Product placement is one form of commercial advertising within television and radio content governed by Ofcom. For advertising outside of television or radio content, see Practice Note on: Advertising law and regulation.

What is product placement?

Product placement is the inclusion in a programme of, or a reference to, a product, service or trade mark where the inclusion is for a commercial purpose, and is in return for the making of any payment, or the giving of other valuable consideration, to any relevant provider or any person connected with a relevant provider, and is not prop placement. The fact a payment needs to be made to constitute product placement distinguishes it from prop placement.

Ofcom has also determined that the Code should apply to product placement for a 'non-commercial purpose' as well as the standard 'commercial' product placement. Ofcom reasoned that product placement for a non-commercial purpose (eg by a charity) could