In a twelve-month trial run, Ofcom has permitted mainstream channels like ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to run up to 12 minutes of adverts each hour during films and dramas (single episodes not series).
This means that these channels will be able to air six minutes of commercials every 30 minutes. This is almost double the current three minutes and thirty seconds.
The trial begins on Monday and could be a permanent change and rolled out on all TV channels (including Asian) if proven successful.
Currently other types of programming such as gameshows, reality TV shows and documentaries can already shown up to 12 minutes of advertising per hour, the new deal will bring all genres (excluding news, current affairs, children and religious) under the same limit.
An Ofcom spokesman said, “This does not necessarily mean that these channels will increase the amount of ads that they show during feature films. It is not clear whether broadcasters will necessarily choose to increase break lengths in films as better advertising opportunities exist elsewhere in the schedules.”
Incidentally, this Monday (28th February) also sees the debut of Product Placement on UK television. Shows, which will carry Product Placements, will be signaled with a ‘P’ logo at the beginning and end of that particular show.
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