Apparently, the advertising breaks in TV programming are set to bleed into the programmes themselves. I don't watch enough TV to care about this all that much, but it sounds like a bad idea.
Critics claim the move, which broadcasters say will give them up to £140m a year in extra revenue, will fuel childhood obesity,
No it won't. If they're mesmerised by the goggle box for hour after hour every day, they are already on their way to the body shape required for admission into World of Warcraft forums. If they are out jumping around and playing sports, they aren't watching. That's not why I think it's a bad idea.
exacerbate the problems caused by alcohol and gambling,
Uh... again, if they're at home watching TV, they are neither in the bookies nor in the pub and if they want to get bladdered in front of Coronary Street, who can blame them? That stuff could drive anyone to drink. So this is rubbish too and it's not why I think product placement is a bad idea.
and distort storylines by rewarding programme makers for deliberately giving certain items high visibility.
There it is. That little add-on line at the end. Drop all that 'for the cheeldren' crap and the 'if they see drink, they'll want drink' nonsense. I think product placement is a bad idea because the advertiser's money will cause storyline deformation. Characters will visit particular car showrooms or coffee shops and buy particular things for no story-based reason whatsoever. It will become blatant and it will be lousy TV. Imagine Daleks with 'Bosch power tools' printed across their heads. Columbo flaunting his cigar pack to show they are King Edwards'. Father Jack raising a bottle of Bells and making sure the label is clear. The Rovers' Return offering Pimms' No. 1 on a promotion to all customers. It's not going to make me rush out and buy those things. It's going to make me switch off the TV and do something else.
Most TV is already crap. The X factor would not be degraded by product placement because it's already as degraded as it can get. Big Brother, 'I'm a celebrity', the same. There are a few good programmes left.
This will finish them off.