Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2011 10:06 AM
It’s taken more than six months since the rules of British television changed for it to happen, but product placement is finally coming to prime-time television there. The Guardian reports that the nearly 51-year-old evening soap, Coronation Street, will be the first British program to feature product placement in primetime.
With a pub and a store prominent settings for the longrunning ITV series' characters to convene, it seems fitting that its first deal is a Nationwide-branded cash machine, as product placement is expected to eventually bring in some big bucks for British TV companies.
“Some forecasts estimated that the UK product placement market might rapidly grow to be worth up to £100 million ($161 million) annually,” the Guardian reports, but British media regulator Ofcom predicts “it might be worth £25 million ($40.3 million) to £30 million ($48.3 million) annually within a few years.”
Still, the cash machine that will reside in a character’s shop and also have a sign touting it outside the shop will be there initially for four months, and could “mark a tipping point for a wave of new product placement deals,” according to Nick Price, a branded content expert at the media buying agency MPG, the paper reports.
As it is, only about a half dozen products have been placed on British TV since the rules were loosened in February, including Nestle's pioneering placement on ITV's morning show, although there's still a ways to go before the practice takes off.