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Is Coronation Street breaking advertising guidelines?

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rovers-return question mark.jpgIt's been quite a while now since Corrie started taking money for product placement. Advertisers are now able to place their product in the show but there are strict guidelines surrounding the practise, and we think we spotted a breech.

Last night Dennis Tanner tried to pay for milk in Dev's shop and, after being told that he could only do that on transactions of £5 and over, was directed to the Nationwide cash machine in the shop. Now, Nationwide pay a product placement fee to have that cash machine in the soap. The guidelines state that products paying for placement should not be given undue prominence n the programme. The clause in Ofcom's product placement regulations is 9.3 and states that 'surreptitious advertising is prohibited'.

It goes on: "Surreptitious advertising involves a reference to a product, service or trade mark within a programme, where such a reference is intended by the broadcaster to serve as advertising and this is not made clear to the audience."

I other words, if the cash machine is there its fine, if Dev points at it and tells Dennis to use it, it becomes part of the story and the viewers attention is being deliberately drawn to a product which has paid to advertise.

Now, obviously no-one really cares about any of this EXCEPT that this little Dennis/ cashcard story is a little piece of forgettable fluff and appears to have been designed solely to bring the cash machine to the viewers' attention. It doesn't sit well with us here at Corrie Blog.

When the product placement deal was first announced, we questioned how long it would take for the interests of the advertisers to overtake the interests of the viewer. Not very long at all, it seems.

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