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Placement of product in the televised programs: first evaluation

Publication date: Thursday, August 2, 2012
The Letter of the CSA n° 262 - July August 2012


On June 19th, 2012, the Council took stock of the application of its deliberation on the placement of product in the televised programs, adopted in 2010.

The placement of product is defined, in the directive Services of audio-visual mediums, like any form of audio-visual commercial communication consisting in including a product, a service or a brand, or referring there, while inserting it in a program realising payment or another counterpart. In France, this practice is authorized in certain television programs since the law of March 5th, 2009.

The legislator entrusted to the CSA the responsibility to frame it, which it did by the deliberation of February 16th, 2010. He authorized the placement of product in the audio-visual cinematographic works, fictions and the vidéomusiques ones, except when they are intended to the children. An assessment of application of this deliberation was to be carried out two years after its coming into effect.

Appearance in spring 2011

For this purpose, Christine Kelly, president of the working group “Publicity and consumer protection”, organized between February and June 2012 a series of hearings: organizations of authors, directors, producers, advertisers and agencies of communication, chains, as consumers' associations were invited to share their experiment.

Stock of the application of the deliberation of February 16th, 2010 was taken on June 19th, 2012. It evaluates the way in which the various provisions were put in work and formula a certain number of proposals.

The placement of product has developed gradually for two years, the most frequent cases having been observed in the more beautiful series the life, in several vidéomusiques then in certain French fictions. The pictogram “P”, intended to inform the public of the existence of a placement of product, started to appear during the diffusion of American series in spring 2011.

The use of the placement of product was done, in most case, in a respectful way for the televiewers. For this reason, the Council decided not to modify neither the perimeter of its definition, nor its formal requirements. In the same way, the methods of information of the televiewers on the existence of a placement of product will remain unchanged. The Council will however ask the chains to make a new campaign of information in order to point out the significance of the pictogram “P”.

The framework of the contractual relations constitutes the point of the deliberation which raises the most difficulties of application. The text of the Council provides that a contract defines the economic relations between the advertiser, the producer of the program and the editor of the chain when the placement of product is carried out in a program produced, coproduced or préacheté by the editor. Many difficulties of implementation of this provision were raised by the professionals. Also the Council it decided to modify the deliberation in substituent with the requirement of a tripartite contract that of a bipartite contract between the producer and the advertiser, accompanied by a duty to inform the diffuser on the existence of a placement of product.

Vis-a-vis the report of a timid development of the placement of product and keen demand of the producers of TV programs, the Council engaged a reflection on opportunity of opening the placement of product to one or more types of programs of flow. This reflection will relate in particular to the diversity of these emissions, on the categories of products being able to be concerned, like on the evolution of the uses, in order to precisely determine contours of a possible opening.

A new assessment will be established in two years to evaluate the practice of the placement of product.

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