Denis Campbell and Polly Curtis write in the Guardian:
Ministers are facing fierce opposition from medical groups, teaching unions and children’s charities over plans to allow products to be used in television programmes for marketing purposes for the first time.
Critics claim the move, which broadcasters say will give them up to £140m a year in extra revenue, will fuel childhood obesity, exacerbate the problems caused by alcohol and gambling, and distort storylines by rewarding programme makers for deliberately giving certain items high visibility.
The British Medical Association has written to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) strongly opposing the plan. “The BMA is deeply concerned about the decision to allow any form of product placement in relation to alcohol, gambling and foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) as this will reduce the protection of young people from harmful marketing influences and adversely impact on public health,” says its submission to a DCMS consultation in the issue, which closes on Friday.
“By its nature product placement allows marketing to be integrated into programmes, blurring the distinction between advertising and editorial, and is not always recognisable. Studies show that children are particularly susceptible to embedded brand messages and these operate at a subconscious level.”
Read More in the Guardian
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