I’ve always said that food commercials should be illegal. Especially the excessively tempting ones like Pizza Hut, Olive Garden, and pretty much any kind of burger place. Well, it looks as if my wish is close to being granted. The UK has announced it will have a ban on all product placements that include alcohol, tobacco, and food and drinks which are high in fat, salt or sugar. This seems like it would solve my issue of seeing these items and then craving these foods at odd hours, but really it doesn’t. While product placements are being banned on these items, advertisements for these are still in the clear. Does this even make any sense?
The reason the UK is giving for the product placement ban is a great one, they are concerned over the looming epidemic of obesity and alcoholism. But if that is the real reason, does product placement really have any effect on that. To tell you the truth, I find product placements obnoxious and so fake that it actually makes me not want to use the product 9 out of 10 times. Not only do I feel that this product placement ban is somewhat pointless, I also believe it is somewhat crazy. Alcohol and junk food are not the only things on the banned list. Other products which program-makers will not be able to feature are prescription medicines, gambling, smoking accessories, over-the-counter medicines and infant and follow-on formula. Formula? Are you kidding me? Why on earth is formula being banned?
Overall I think its a positive step that the UK is attempting to cut down on product placements, like I had mentioned, I find them exceedingly annoying. I would like to add that I think if the UK is going to go with the ban occurring from reasons of concern for the health of their viewers, that they might want to also take a look at what advertisements they are allowing to appear on their networks. I can’t speak for everyone, but I am much more likely to be tempted by a close up shot of breadsticks, soup, and lasagna, then by an actor devouring a piece of pizza all while a well placed Pizza Hut box sits next to him.