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Ofcom relaxes product-placement rules: This news brought to you by Badger Beer

Ofcom is considering relaxing the rules on product placement. The news reached us as were supping on a refreshing bottle of Badger Beer

News reaches us, as we crack open an ice-cold, refreshing can of Cooler-Cola, that Ofcom is considering relaxing the rules on product placement. Product placement is the name for companies paying to have their products appear in films and TV shows. Ofcom announced the new plans in a bowl of Tastee Flakes -- sorry, we mean blog post.

The new rules are in line with new EU legislation, which allows placement but bans products being given undue prominence. Individual instances of product placement are okay, but not whole storylines. Ofcom gives the example of a character's house burning down when they don't have insurance.

There'll be no placement for sensitive items such as medicine, booze and nasty old tobacco, although quite what's wrong with a cold, sparkling Badger Beer and a pipe-full of Charlie's Old Wrongfoot at the end of a hard day is beyond us. Food that's high in fat, salt or sugar is ruled out, as is baby milk.

There are also proposals for product placement on the radio, which we can't quite get our heads around. Programmes would have to make it clear that commercial references have been paid for, and there'll be no such shenanigans in news or children's shows.

To indicate when a programme features product placement, each show will feature a little 'P' symbol at the start and end. The new rules will be added to the Ofcom Broadcasting Code at the end of 2010.

Right, it's Badger time. Cheers!