According to a recent study, the relaxation of product placement rules in the UK has not exactly triggered the best market environment.
NMG Product Placement says that some hunts for product placement have not succeeded, resulting in props that were arranged freely by brands. The extra income did not exactly appear there. Only an estimated six deals have been struck between February and August.
“It has not taken off, there are not the millions of pounds, it hasn’t snowballed,” said Mark Wood, a partner in product placement agency Krempel Wood, speaking at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. He added that the deals that have been struck were largely associated with advertiser-funded programmes, which were “the supertanker” when it came to advertising money going directly into shows.
Brands may settle for free product placements instead of paying for them. Moreover, there is still a debate about how to price product placement deals, and whether the exposure is worth more to brands than the equivalent amount of paid-for traditional TV advertising.
Other things holding back product placement include conservatism on the part of broadcasters worried about compliance procedures, unfamiliarity with the rules, and uncertainty on the side of companies, which are more familiar with supplying props for shows on an unpaid basis.
Another growing issue are contracts with presenters, actors and talent, who may be linked, or seen to be endorsing products placed in shows.
NMG believes that educating brands and marketers about the value of product placement might be good for producers. Otherwise, these brands might just pick free prop arrangements.
The product placement deals included in the six estimated to have been struck so far are Nespresso with This Morning, Tresemme shampoo in Britain’s Next Top Model, XBox on Sky Living and Sky1, and Mission Foods in Mexican Food Made Simple on Channel 5.