April 30, 2024 13:43

EU Media Expert: “Harmful Practice of Covert Advertising is Widespread in Georgian TV Space”

“The harmful practice of covert advertising is widespread in Georgian TV space. We are talking about content that is disguised in a way that it is not perceived as advertising by the audience, but has the same goal and effect as advertising. This violates broadcasting standards, as the audience must always know when it is targeted by commercial communication, EU media expert Jean-Francois Furnemont stated at the conference organised by the Communications Commission under the title “TV Advertising Market Challenges – Product Placement.”

In his speech, the expert emphasised the harmful effect that unlawful product placement has on the audience: “Covert commercial communication has a negative effect on consumers because viewers perceive it as more authentic than traditional advertising and therefore evaluate it less critically,” Mr. Furnemont stated.

The EU expert pointed out that TV sponsorship and product placement often get confused with each other even though they are separate forms of advertising, and proceeded to highlight the differences: “A sponsor finances the programme to promote their brand, while in the case of product placement, the client pays the broadcaster specifically to ensure that their product appears in the programme. Product placement ensures organic integration of the product in the programme content and script, while sponsorship is not part of the script. Its purpose is only to identify the sponsor.”

According to Jean-Francois Furnemont, sponsorship and product placement are not mutually exclusive. Both could be included in the same programme for the same product. “The main thing is to ensure that both forms of commercial communication are in line with the appropriate rules.”

Mr. Furnemont also talked about the study carried out by the Communications Commission with his involvement. The research focused on the existing regulatory frameworks and approaches in 15 different countries regarding product placement. Based on the results of the study, the research team devised additional recommendations for the Communications Commission, including continuous active monitoring of programmes, identifying challenges and raising public awareness.


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