THIS WEEK: Lobbyists push for rule change on TV sponsors

Advertisers should be allowed to sponsor TV programmes directly related to their brands, according to a pressure group lobbying for changes in sponsorship rules.

Advertisers should be allowed to sponsor TV programmes directly related

to their brands, according to a pressure group lobbying for changes in

sponsorship rules.

The ITC Licensees sponsorship group, which includes GMTV, Sky, UK Gold

and NBC SuperChannel, has submitted its appeal to the Independent

Television Commission.

The proposals include a plea to relax rules for viewers’ competitions

and for greater freedom in promoting a sponsor’s image in credit


The group is fighting against restrictions such as the ruling that

companies with a direct interest in a programme are not allowed to

sponsor it. Food manufacturers, for example, cannot sponsor cookery


Group co-ordinator Hugh Geach argues that if companies were prevented

from product placement during programmes rather than banned from

sponsoring them it would help independent programme makers and


‘The regulations reflect an old age of television where sponsorship was

not allowed,’ said Geach. ‘There are whole areas of programming which

are closed to companies and this is damaging to broadcasting.’

He said the UK restrictions are far harsher than across the rest of



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