Ofcom has concluded its 2009 and 2010 consultations on the broadcasting code and has issued its final statements relating to commercial references in television programmes (see here: stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/bcrtv2010/statement) and commercial communications in radio programmes (see here: stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/consultations/bcrradio2010/statement).
It is hoped that the new broadcasting code will allow broadcasters to generate new revenue from advertising.
For television programmes, Ofcom has issued revised broadcasting code rules that will come into force on 28 February 2011. The revised code will lift the total prohibition on product placement for certain programmes and revise the programme sponsorship rules in line with the new product placement rules. During the implementation period leading up 28 February 2011, Ofcom will issue a universal visual logo that broadcasters will have to use to signal product placement and may also issue further general guidance.
For radio programmes, Ofcom has introduced, with immediate effect, new provisions into the the broadcasting code to remove the principle that commercial communications (except for spot adverts) must be separated from the editorial content of most radio programmes. To maintain consumer protection the commercial communications must be transparent to the listeners of the programmes and spot adverts must remain separated as they were previously.