European Union lawmakers gave the final green light last month to ground breaking new EU rules allowing broadcasters to raise more money through product placement in order to off-set new technologies such as video-on-demand and PVRs. Euro MPs adopted the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, which aims to update EU broadcasting law to cater for developments such as the Internet and mobile TV. The new rules will now be sent to national capitals, and the EU's 27 member countries will have until the end of 2009 to implement them into their statute books. The European Commission said the new rules would meet the demands of a fast-moving and dynamic industry, citing the new text should help European media business remain competitive in the digital era.
According to FremantleMedia, product placement on European television could bring in revenues of €150m (£107m) by 2010.
Recent figures from countries that permit product placement, such as Australia suggest that clearer rules should help the European audiovisual industry become more competitive, especially compared with the U.S.