New regulation on product placement

Written by Karol Laskowski

The new amendment to the Polish Broadcasting Act 1992 legalizes product placement in television and radio. Since May 23, 2011 as the act comes into force, the broadcasters will be allowed to broadcast cinematographic and other films, as well as tv series and other shows that include product placement.

{mosimage}Product placement is still prohibited in any auditions dedicated for children. The general condition under which the product placement will be allowed is that the broadcaster shall inform the audience that this type of commercial communication was included in the auditions, and in case the audition was produced or commissioned by the broadcaster, also the information on the entity that has located the product shall be attached.

The legalization of product placement is not revolutionary as the brands of goods and services were already part of broadcasted films and tv series for years, also in polish tv productions. Although some true legal concerns, the product placement was included in the auditions on the basis of sponsoring agreements or part of barter agreements. Now the broadcaster will be entitled act in a more transparent manner and we can expect the product placement to grow. The legalization of product placement shall be also important for these producers that cooperate with the broadcasters, as they shall ensure in the coproduction agreements that at least part of the income made out of product placement goes to them.

The amendment of the Polish Broadcasting Act is a result of the implementation of the EU Directive 2010/13/EU, that sets legal framework for audiovisual services in the whole Europe Union. According to the Directive the product placement is generally banned, but the Member States were allowed to derogate from that regulation on conditions set out by the Directive. Most of the European Union countries has decided to allow product placement in their country regulations, although it was very controversial. The Directive supposed to be adopted in the end of 2009.

Karol Laskowski - associate, Salans law firm