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Government urged to lift TV product placement ban

2012/07/19 22:52:55

Taipei, July 19 (CNA) Representatives from the television broadcasting industry on Thursday urged the government to lift its ban on product placement during TV dramas, saying it will provide an opportunity for worldwide promotion of Taiwanese products.

South Korea allows product placement and gives tax cut benefits for companies that invest in their TV drama, Chang Cheng-fen, deputy general manager of marketing at SET-TV, said at a national cultural forum.

"But we penalize it (product placement)," she said.

The forum, one of nine being held by the Ministry of Culture from June to August to seek consensus on Taiwan’s cultural policies, is discussing ways to build a global network for Taiwan’s film, television and music industries.

Chang said lifting the ban will encourage more companies to investin Taiwanese TV dramas, which lack funding for big productions.

“We can only attract talent and produce better work if we haveadequate resources,”said Chang. The cost of producing a ChineseTV drama is six times that of a Taiwanese show, Chang said.

Meanwhile, TV variety show and drama producer Jason Hsueh said thegovernment’s responsibility is to manage and guide, “not to become a supervisory agency.”

He said no artist is willing to sacrifice the quality of hisor her work but product placement can sometimes add to the value ofa TV show.

Actors in South Korean dramas are shown using South Korean productssuch as Samsung Galaxy phones, said Chang, adding that Taiwanese dramasalso present an opportunity to promote Taiwanese products to the world.

In response, Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said at the forum thather ministry will look into the matter and discuss it with the NationalCommunications Commission if it is found that product placement will bea plus for the TV broadcast industry.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese singer Shih Wen-pin urged the government to build venues designed specifically for popular music concerts and independentmusic shows, to give artists more opportunities to perform.

Lee Jui-pin, CEO of the Recording Industry Foundation in Taiwan, further urged the ministry to help protect the intellectual propertyrights of music makers.

He also urged the government to negotiate with China to allowTaiwanese drama, film and music companies to set up operations,including sales and marketing, in China. In response, Lungsaid that intellectual property rights affairs are still beingmanaged by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and it will take timeand many inter-ministerial discussions to resolve those issues.

(By Christie Chen)