ITC to restrict TV show ’copy’ ads

Pepsi Cola’s three-minute-long take-offs of the TV programme, the Word, which spearheaded the soft drink’s pre-Christmas advertising campaign, would not be allowed on British TV again under rules issued by the Independent Television Commission this week.

Pepsi Cola’s three-minute-long take-offs of the TV programme, the

Word, which spearheaded the soft drink’s pre-Christmas advertising

campaign, would not be allowed on British TV again under rules issued by

the Independent Television Commission this week.



The new code also tightens the rules governing the use of TV characters

in ads such as a current BT spot featuring 11 ex-stars of

EastEnders.



The amendments to the ITC’s Code of Advertising Standards and Practice

are designed to underlines the need for a clear distinction between ads

and programmes, programme trailers and sponsorship credits.



Under current rules, ads are banned from including extracts from recent

or current programme material, but now a clause has been added which

prohibits the incorporation of programme titles, logos, sets or theme

music. The only exception to the rule is ads for products or services

based on the programme concerned.



This clause would rule out ads such as those for Pepsi, created by the

TV production company, Planet 24, which featured the Word’s set and

presenters.



A spokeswoman for the ITC said this aspect of the code was under review

before the Pepsi ads aired, but confirmed that the new rules would

probably prohibit the same format running again.



A Pepsi spokesman said that the new ITC clause ’will not affect us in

the immediate future’.



A second new ITC regulation warns: ’Advertisements are likely to impinge

upon intellectual property rights if they feature actors appearing as

the characters they play in programmes.’



BT recently had to pay compensation to the BBC for using ex-cast members

of EastEnders in an ad - its agency, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, had not

obtained permission to use the characters in a commercial context.



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