Feb 28th 2011
Have you noticed the first of the new product placements on British TV? Nescafe has reportedly paid £100K for one of its coffee machines to sit on a counter in the kitchen of ITV1’s This Morning for the next three months. It just sits on the back counter – take a look for yourself
Nescafe has handed over £100,000 for the privilege of having its Dolce Gusto machine placed in the kitchen area of the day time show’s set.
The three-month deal started this morning – on the first day possible following the relaxation of advertising rules.
There was speculation before broadcast that the hosts, Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, would use the machine to prepare cappuccinos for themselves or their guests.
But as it turned out, the machine featured only in the background of the show’s cooking segment, and was not mentioned by the presenters.
The coffee maker was placed directly behind chef Phil Vickery and was visible only intermittently during his brief slot.
Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, announced in December that product placement would be allowed on British television from the end of this month.
ITV is the obvious candidate to lead the way: it was the first network ever to air an advertisement when it broadcast a commercial for SR toothpaste in 1955.
The network is now in talks with several other companies about further deals. Industry experts believe product placement could one day be worth as much as £50m a year to ITV alone.
Under the new rules, placements must be editorially justified and must not feature gambling, alcohol, tobacco, junk food, medicine or baby milk.
They are also banned on all children’s, news, current affairs and religious programmes, and broadcasters must display a “P” logo at the start of programmes and containing placements during ad breaks.
Critics are concerned that product placement, combined with the longer six-minute commercial breaks permitted last Monday, will mean viewers are “bombarded” with adverts.
David Turtle, of Mediawatch-UK, said: “We’re amazed that Ofcom has gone ahead with this proposal”.
Nestle, the owner of Nescafe, said the deal with ITV provided the “perfect opportunity to connect with sociable people who enjoy good coffee”.
by Heidi Blake