New laws to allow product placement and regulate
‘on demand’ audiovisual media services have been passed
in the Chamber of Deputies.
If confirmed by the Senate and signed by the
President, it is expected to become legally binding by the end of
The legislation aims to ensure fair competition
between providers of on-demand audiovisual media services (giving
viewers choice over the timing as well as the content of their TV
viewing). Instead of requiring them to hold a licence, they are
required provide certain data about their services to the Council
for Radio and TV Broadcasting (which keeps a record).
Product placement involves payment in return for
the integration into a programme of a product, service or trademark
relating to a product. Although already used, it could be
considered hidden advertising under current laws.
The new law would allow product placement for
certain goods or services in audio-video on-demand services as long
as no payment is involved.
It would also allow product placement (except for
prescription drugs and tobacco products) in cinematographic works
and films, sports programmes and light entertainment programmes
apart from children’s programming, documentaries and
religious programmes, as long as viewers are informed of the
existence of a sponsorship agreement in an appropriate way, either
before, during or at the end of the programme.
The legislation implements the EU Directive on
Audiovisual Media Services which the Czech Republic should have
implemented by 19 December 2009.
The new law will thus only apply to programmes made
after the 19 December 2009. Under the directive, member states are
given broad autonomy to Member States to operate a stricter system
or even impose a total ban on product placement.
Law: Act on Audiovisual Media Services On Demand implementing
Directive No. 2007/65/EC on Audiovisual Media Services dated 11