Upon the enactment of the new Law on Foundation and Broadcasting Services of Radio and Television Institutions numbered 6112 (the “RTUK Law”), the way of product placement is led by the Turkish government under certain conditions. Before the new RTUK Law, product placement was regarded as a type of hidden advertisement which was completely prohibited by law. However, Article 13 of the new RTUK Law brings the following conditions for product placement:

– Product placement for certain goods and services will be allowed in cases where such goods and services are included within the program free of any charge and only under the conditions to be set forth by the Supreme Council of Radio and Television.

– The placed product or service should not be emphasized or promoted in the program explicitly and excessively when compared to the program content.

– The audience should be informed of product placement at the beginning and at the end of the programs as well as after the advertorials within the programs.

– Product placement is not allowed in the news, child programs and religious programs.

Basing on the above provision, the product placement practices began to increase on TV lately; especially in the television serials as the Turkish audience mostly tends to watch serials broadcast after the news programs. Nowadays, product placements are seen especially in the Turkish sitcom “Yalan Dünya” (Hollow Life) which is one of the most talked sitcoms. The product placements in the referred sitcom seem very outstanding as we can see the brands almost in every outside scene. Namely, while the actors are walking down the street, we can see KFC, Denizbank (a Turkish bank) and Turkcell (a leader Turkish telecommunication company) behind them in most of the scenes which attracts attentions in the society as being disturbing and too frequent.

Considering the watch habits of Turkish audience, it seems a very efficient way of advertising to use product placement in the relevant scenes of television serials as long as being in compliance with the above conditions. However, it should also be considered that making product placements should not exceed the intended level in the television program; i.e. it should be compliant with the original flow of the subject matter and the scenes as well as the frequency of the placements in a whole program should be well adapted in order not to overlap the subject matter of the program and hence not to be annoying before the audience.

Basak Gurbuz