Marketing, sponsorship and product placement
Television and radio programme operators must comply with the provisions laid down in the Information Society Code (in Finnish).
Marketing can take the form of:
- product placement.
The purpose of chapter 26 in the Information Society Code is to ensure the integrity of programmes and to keep commercial contents separate from other programme contents.
Advertising refers to any announcements or messages that are broadcast on television or radio usually in return for payment or some other consideration. Advertising:
- does not include sponsorship and product placement;
- aims to promote the sales of the advertiser's goods or the its name or trademark of an advertiser engaged in business.
Advertising must be made distinguishable from other programmes with visual, auditory or spatial means, such as tunes and visual signals, including the division of screen space. Surreptitious advertising is prohibited.
The Information Society Code regulates the duration of advertising and teleshopping spots and how and when they can be inserted in television and radio programmes.
Provisions on ethics in advertising and the protection of minors are supervised by the Consumer Ombudsman.
Sponsorship refers to any contribution to the financing of programmes or any other form of financial support with a view to promote the sales of the sponsor's goods or its its name or trademark .
Sponsored programmes must be clearly identified by showing the sponsor's name or logo at the beginning or end of the programmes.
Sponsored programmes must not encourage the audience to buy the sponsor's products or services.
Product placement means including a product, service or trademark in an audiovisual programme in return for some form of consideration. In general, product placement is forbidden. However, product placement is allowed in cinematographic works, series, sports programmes and light entertainment programmes.
Viewers must be clearly informed that a programme contains product placement. This can be done by showing a text stating that the programme contains product placement or a product placement logo used by all broadcasters.
The four largest commercial TV broadcasters in Finland (Sanoma Media Finland Oy, MTV Oy, Discovery Networks Finland Oy and Fox International Channels Finland Oy) are introducing a common logo for product placement.
Currently the logo appears in the broadcasters' programmes containing product placement together with a text stating the product placement. The broadcasters intend to abandon the parallel use of logos and texts on 31 January 2016, and use the logo alone after that.
FICORA conducts regular studies on the duration and insertion of advertising spots and on how distinguishable marketing is from other programmes. FICORA is also engaged in active dialogue on the rules and principles of marketing with other players in the field.