Tuesday 15 September 2009


UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass believes the European Union has paved the way for dumbed down television programming which will put profit before content.

The West Midlands MEP has today attacked plans to allow product placement on some of Britain’s most popular shows.

In 2007, a European Union directive came into force which permits product placement for commercial purposes in certain programming if national governments allowed it.

Now, it appears the British Government is considering the move which could see regulars in the Rovers Return swapping a pint of Newton & Ridley (fictional tipple used in the soap Coronation Street) for a drink of Carlsberg or John Smith’s.

Implementing the directive could allow the British TV reality programme X-Factor to follow the example of American Idol and product place glasses of Coca Cola on the set and open the floodgates for independent broadcasters to advertise on a massive scale.

Mr Nattrass says British television has always been at the forefront of innovation and has a reputation around the world for delivering high quality programming.

But allowing product placement could tarnish this reputation and lead to television audiences in the UK being bombarded by adverts and plugs for products and famous brands.

“Now the quality of the nation’s television could be undermined thanks to the interfering EU,” said Mr Nattrass.

“Britain is famous for producing high-quality dramas, comedy and entertainment programmes which are also popular with television audiences around the world.

“I understand that struggling independent broadcasters need to raise revenue. The cost of this however, should not be profit-making programming more with an eye on flogging brands of washing powder than plot and content.

“Again this is yet another example of the EU poking its nose in where it does not belong. It is time to say NO to the EU and manage our own affairs.

"If the British people require this (product placement on TV) then it should be obtained via our own Parliament. It should not be dictated to us by the EU hiding behind the simple word ‘directive.’

“It is all too easy, no wonder more than 70 per cent of our law now comes from the EU,” he added.


Steve Halden said...

This is just another example of how the EU is interfering in every aspect of our lives.

Anonymous said...

I guess that spells the end of period dramas, then!