Reports suggest that a number of ITV stars have come under fire for their promotion of their own products or brands they are ambassadors for.
Executives have apparently held meetings with Holly Willoughby, Gino D’Acampo and also Lorraine fashion expert Mark Heyes to advise them not to advertise on air products and brands they have a vested interest in.
They reportedly gave Heyes a warning after his plugging of Debenhams for which he is the store’s brand ambassador. He also sits on Lorraine’s judging panel for her High Street Fashion Awards each year which coincidentally Debenhams have won for the past two years. ITV have insisted that Heyes has had no affect on the award as it is the public who vote for the winner.
A source said, “There was a change in the Ofcom ruling with regards to undue prominence and product placement in TV. When there are changes we chat to talent and agents about them. In the past Holly has worn a number of her own dresses from the brand Very and Gino often wears bright watches which are on camera a lot, so we have to look at things like this now to make sure we don’t do anything wrong. It is important to ITV that there is no favouritism for any brand on Lorraineand the clothes being shown should be the best ones, regardless of what store they come from.”
An ITV spokesman added that Heye’s work for Debenhams does not affect editorial decisions on the show, “ITV ensures that all of its talent are aware of and comply with the Ofcom code on product placement and undue prominence. This is an ongoing dialogue.”
Product placement in films and international programmes (such as a US drama series) has been allowed on UK television for many years. It wasn’t until last year that provisions were made for UK shows as long as they complied with the Ofcom rules.
Currently, if a TV show is using product placement, they must display either of the two logos allowed before the show as well as after any advert breaks that may occur within the duration of the programme.
The problem lies with how far you go? Willoughby, is not the only presenter who dons her own designs of clothing on TV while D’Acampo is not the only star on TV to wear easily recognisable items of clothing. A number of stars from ITV have also been in hot water over their use of promoting products on social network site, Twitter.
We would like to know what you think about product placement on TV now that it has been on our screens for over a year?
For me, having watched US shows where product placement has been in existence for a while (Friends and Pottery Barn and Oreas anyone? Sex in the City and Manolos? What about pretty much every show going and the Apple Macbook?), it’s no biggie if it goes on or not. It’s a great way to hear about and see items you may not necessarily have seen but when it comes to Heyes looking like he’s showing favouritism to one particular store, that’s when it needs addressing.