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product placement hits Coronation Street

18 November 2011

On 14 November 2011 Coronation Street became the first UK prime time show to feature product placement advertising, following a relaxation of TV product placement rules last February.

Contrary to the predicted deluge of brands to be thrust onto viewers’ screens, this first product placement in the ITV soap takes the rather mundane form of a Nationwide cash machine appearing in Dev Alahan’s corner shop. There will also be a branded swing-board outside the store.

Product placement undoubtedly offers a potentially lucrative income generation model, with Ofcom predicting that the industry could be worth up to £30m a year. Despite some who worry that product placement is essentially subliminal advertising, and may be a challenge to the traditions of British broadcasting, the safe guards such as a small letter ‘p’ shown on screen during the programme credits will be a clear warning to viewers.

At least the residents of Coronation Street can rest easy, knowing their money is no longer being held in a fictional bank.

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