Mip TV conference hears demands for more ad-funded TV

Advertiser-funded programming will play an increasingly large role in integrated advertising campaigns, according to speakers at the Mip TV conference in Cannes.

Although the concept of AFP is not a new one, there is increasing interest in it because of fragmenting audiences and the growth of personal video recorders. As well as benefiting advertisers, it can also provide broadcasters with quality programming, the conference also heard.

"This is an opportunity to create win-wins," Becky Morgan, the EMEA director for solutions at Discovery Networks, said.

The conference also heard that the European legislation that prevents advertisers and broadcasters from running product placement is too restrictive.

Emmanuel Joly from the audiovisual policy unit at the European Commission said product placement is disguised advertising and that, under the TV Without Frontiers directive, it is not legal in European law.

Joly faced calls for the upcoming review of the directive to relax its rules and allow advertising to be identified within a programme rather than be separated from it.

But Martin Thomas, a partner at Nylon, warned that advertisers are concerned that a relaxation of the rules could lead to a consumer backlash. "Any relaxation could be detrimental to the whole advertising industry," he said.

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