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Ban on product placement on TV to be lifted

PRODUCT placement is to be allowed on commercial television shows, as the government makes a complete U-turn in its attitude towards the controversial form of advertising.<br /><br />Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw is expected to announce a three-month consultation on the controversial new policy during his keynote speech to the Royal Television Society&rsquo;s Cambridge Convention on Wednesday. <br /><br />The move would throw a lifeline to commercial broadcasters such as ITV, which have been severely hit by declining ad revenues during the recession. Experts estimate it could net them an additional &pound;100m a year &ndash; though this is unlikely to fill the hole left by the decline in traditional ad spending.<br /><br />The Labour government was previously opposed to relaxing the rules on product placement &ndash; which is standard practice in the US and most European countries &ndash; fearing it would blur the lines between editorial and commercial content and diminish standards in broadcasting.<br /><br />The relaxed rules are likely to allow product placing in sport and light entertainment, such as soap operas, but the ban will remain in place for all programming aimed at children.