A predicted backlash against the liberalisation of product
placement in films and TV programmes has failed to materialise,
with only one in five viewers declaring it a distraction.
The news will come as a relief to the film industry and TV
producers alike following widespread criticism of excessively overt
product placement in films such as Bond-flick Casino Royale and
episodes of popular TV programmes.
Research conducted by Kantar-owned Lightspeed Research on behalf
of trade magazine Marketing Week sought to determine consumer
attitudes to this comparatively new marketing medium following a
lifting of restrictions. Lightspeed interviewed over 1,000
consumers of all ages.
Across all demographics, seven out of 10 respondents reported
they had noticed product placement in a TV show or film. 18-34
year-olds were the only group significantly more likely to take
exception, with 27% calling it a distraction. Grey consumers were
considerably more accepting, with only 12% against.
Asked to specify which kinds of programming they thought more
appropriate for product placement, soap operas were the preferred
type (perhaps unsurprisingly given their commercial history),
followed by drama and sports. Few respondents wanted to see product
placement in current affairs or children's programming.
And product placement is inherently seen as the domain of the
commercial TV sector. Fewer than half of those surveyed thought
product placement should be allowed on state funded TV (where it is
not in fact currently permitted).
Presented with a range of well known brands, respondents were
asked if seeing the brand featured in a TV programme would affect
the likelihood of their buying the brand. In all cases the majority
(at least 80%) said product placement of a brand would make no
So while resistance may be less than expected, marketers have a
good deal of work to do to make this an effective or efficient way
of spending their marketing budgets.
Source: Lightspeed Research