Product Placement Consultation Implications for Gambling

United Kingdom

This article was produced by Olswang LLP, which joined with CMS on 1 May 2017.

The DCMS has recently issued a consultation seeking the public's views on product placement on television, with a view to allowing it. As this represents something of a u-turn by the Government, the focus is unsurprisingly on the safeguards that should be put in place. Equally predictably, one of the specified areas of concern for the DCMS is gambling product placement. Readers with an interest in ensuring gambling providers are able to undertake product placement are advised to read and respond to the consultation accordingly.

The consultation is available here. At paragraphs 22 and 27 of section 5 (pp19-20) of the consultation document, the DCMS states that it has particular concerns about the health and welfare effects of permitting product placement for gambling (as well as alcohol and HFSS foods). It suggests that the Government will want to ensure that "robust systems" are in place to assess and monitor such effects, and that the Government would need to consider how this could best be achieved and, notably, paid for.

The key consultation question for the gambling industry is at paragraph 24 of section 6 (p26):

"Should television placement of alcohol, HFSS foods or gambling be subject to an outright prohibition; or, if not prohibited, should it be subject to restrictions of some kind?"

Whilst one might suspect that the most likely outcome will be a 9pm watershed for gambling product placement (perhaps with certain exceptions), to bring it into line with the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising, the gambling industry would be well advised to take this opportunity to make its case.

The consultation closes on 8 January 2010.