Poland legalizes film-TV product placement

By Katarzyna Grynienko
    By the end of 2009 an amendment will be added to the existing Polish media bill legalizing product placement advertising in films and TV programmes.
    An EU directive is forcing the Polish government to take a stand on the issue of product placement by December 19, 2009. The National Broadcasting Council (KRRiTV, www.krrit.gov.pl) said that the value of the Polish market for the product placement purposes could rise from $42 million in 2007 to $68 million in 2010, according to data gathered by PQ Media.

    Product placement in Poland now functions as corporate sponsorship. In the current Polish law, the company can loan the product and expect a mention in the credits but the producer of the film or series cannot charge for this. The planned amendment will allow product placement only in movies, TV series, radio plays, sport and entertainment broadcasts. It will be strictly forbidden in informational and journalistic programs as well as children's productions. Nicotine and medicinal products will not be allowed. The programs including product placement will be specially marked in order not to confuse the viewer.

    The planned amendment caused a protest from the Chamber of Press Publishers, arguing that legal product placement will exacerbate the economic press crisis and drive the advertisers further away from printed media, and will compromise media content, an argument that convinced the UK government to forbid this advertising technique.