Marketing, sponsorship and product placement

Marketing must be distinguishable from other radio and television programmes. The duration and insertion of advertising spots are also governed by law. Traficom monitors marketing on radio and television, and in video-on-demand services.

Television and radio programme operators must comply with the provisions laid down in the Act on Electronic Communications Services (External link)

Marketing can take the form of:

  • advertising
  • teleshopping
  • sponsorship
  • product placement.

The purpose of chapter 26 in the Act on Electronic Communications Services is to ensure the integrity of programmes and to keep commercial contents separate from other programme contents.

Advertising

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 Act on Electronic Communications Services 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 (External link)

Sponsorship

Sponsorship means any financing or other economic support of programmes with a view to promoting the product sales of the sponsor or its reputation.

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

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 prohibited. 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.

Tuotesijoittelun tunnus

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.

Traficom supervises marketing on radio and TV

Traficom conducts regular studies on the duration and insertion of advertising spots and on how distinguishable marketing is from other programmes. Traficom is also engaged in active dialogue on the rules and principles of marketing with other players in the field.