Product placement in television programming is a clever way for advertisers to subliminally reach viewers. In the U.K., the practice is carefully monitored by the government and accompanied by a “P” logo at the beginning and end of shows, so that viewers are aware of the presence of product placement. Despite the effort to alert viewers, a report released today finds that a vast majority of British adults don’t notice the logo.
The inconspicuous logo is a compromise between strict regulations over product placement and a more lax government stance on the issue. Since relaxing the rules governing product placement for certain television shows in February, analysts have predicted the rise of a lucrative new advertising market to the tune of $160 million per year.
A TV campaign to educate viewers on the product placement logo proved to be ineffective. Research firm Populus found that 75 percent of a 2,000 survey sample did not have any idea what the “P” logo represented. Only 9 percent could correctly identify what the logo stood for.
The British government has relaxed its regulations on product placement, but there are some rules that remain firmly in place. Broadcasters cannot run any type of product placement, even with a warning logo, in children’s programming, news shows, religious programming, or consumer advice programs.