Media Minister: Product Placement Bad, Web Regulation Good

Amongst several topics covered in a wide-ranging speech delivered to the Convergence Think Tank last night, media and culture minister Andy Burnham spoke against adopting part of Europe’s new Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) directive that would legitimise TV product placement. If that also goes for TV-like online programming, it would destroy the business model for shows like Bebo’s KateModern, Sofia’s Diary, Gap Year and Secret Life Of Sam King, all funded by embedded endorsements.

But a government spokesperson I spoke to was unable to answer whether Burnham feels the same way about online, which may well evade the same treatment. She did say the AVMS will not be opposed entirely, however, and a consultation is open on the issue. The AVMS made the first distinction between linear and non-linear media but curiously left internet video largely untouched. Also in Burnham’s speech…

Internet regulation: Burnham suggested John Perry Barlow’s infamous 1996 Declaration Of The Independence Of Cyberspace, which advocated a lawless internet, was out-moded, with regulation indeed necessary: “That was then. Twelve years on the internet is mainstream. The penetration of the internet to all of our lives means that I think that people don