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Products set to boost ITV

EMBATTLED broadcaster ITV could boost its revenues by £50m a year, after the government lifted a ban on product placement.

Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw yesterday said commercial broadcasters would be allowed to accept payment for displaying branded products in most shows.

ITV insiders think the firm will earn around £50m-a-year from product placement deals by 2015, around the same amount it currently earns from sponsorship agreements.
But a spokesperson for the broadcaster criticised rules that will prevent the promotion of alcohol and foods that are high in fat, salt or sugar.

She said: “These blanket restrictions won’t bring us into line with US and EU competitors.”

The British government must lift the ban to comply with an EU directive, but it is adding safeguards that will make the UK tougher than other member states.
ITV will start placing products in hit shows like Coronation Street in the Autumn, once the government has tabled legislation and Ofcom has amended the broadcasting code.

Broadcasters other than the BBC will be allowed to display products in films, dramas, entertainment shows and sports programmes.