A tourist office employee discloses he ‘used’ an NRK series for an allegedly illegal advertising campaign.
NRK’s ‘Lilyhammer’ drama, featuring Steven van Zandt (Little Steven) was due to air in January. Similar to the BBC, Norway’s state broadcaster does not show any commercials.
The programme is now postponed, however, after Producers Rubicon TV revealed signing several contracts with companies for product placement.
One of the businesses is Visit Lillehammer. The organisation’s Ove Gjesdal admits paying for certain locations to appear in the series.
“We had seen this series as a wonderful opportunity to make our region visible at home and abroad. We made some requests regarding what we hoped would be featured,” he tells NRK.
At the same time, Mr Gjesdal underlines they have no say over the editorial process, declaring, “The series features Lillehammer very clearly, both because of the programme’s name and that it is recorded in our region showing winter and summer scenes. That’s why we have termed it product placement. Perhaps the correct term is sponsorship?”
Sponsorship is not against the law, product placement is, but NRK external director Peter Wallace does not know if or when the series will be broadcast now.
“We have to go through the extent of this and watch the series scene by scene. We must determine if it is possible to make it legal for showing in some way should any illegalities have occurred. We may never show the series at all.”
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