Beeb series gets more bizarre
BBC2 drinks series?
A footnote to my piece on Oz and James Drink to Britain. After many phone calls, in which I attempted to discover why any reference to CAMRA had been removed from the episode screened on 10 February, the BBC finally passed me on to RDFMedia, the independent production company that made the series. RDF told me they were governed by Ofcom rules. The BBC does not come within the remit of Ofcom, which only governs productions by independent radio and television companies. But because RDF may sell the series on to other independent channels, Oz and James does come within Ofcom's remit.
Ofcom rules firmly oppose "product placement" -- of which more later -- and say that there should not be undue prominence given to organisations in programmes. However, the rules add, if an organisation is not named in a programme, it should be given a credit at the end.
CAMRA is not a commercial organisation. It was not named in the programme as the organiser of a beer festival, and it was not given a credit at the end of the episode. In the same episode, Gwatkin's cider company was named and a bottle of Gwatkins' Perry was shown in close up. This surely amounts to product placement.
A week later, in the episode screened on 17 February, Oz and James were shown enjoying pints outside a pub in Cornwall. The pub was not named -- it was the Blisland Inn -- but our heroes were several times shown holding pint glasses with the prominenet name of Tribute to the camera. So no mention of the pub but a good plug for the St Austell brewery's flagship brand.
This is known as product placement and breaches Ofcom rules.