U.K. primed for product placement

'Coronation Street' to feature branded A.T.M.

LONDON — Product placement in TV has moved up a gear in the U.K. with the news that the country’s longest running soap, ITV’s “Coronation Street,” is to feature an ATM branded by Nationwide, a genuine bank.

It’s the first primetime placement since such ads were approved in February. Nationwide’s logo will appear on a cash machine in the sudser’s neighborhood store Nov. 14. A Nationwide sign will be displayed outside the store. U.K. webs haven’t been deluged with product placement deals — around a dozen agreements have been made since February. But the hope is that signing up the top-rated TV series will represent a tipping point.

Optimists predict that U.K. TV product placement could be worth $160 million annually, but regulator Ofcom says a third of this amount would be more realistic.

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