Some $ 400 million in revenue from product plugs during variety and game shows, a common advertising practice in Italy, will be lost by RAI and Fininvest if new regulations approved by a Senate subcommittee become law.

The new rules, which must be approved by the Chamber of Deputies, were penned by the Broadcasting Authority after a long battle over whether the elaborate plugs should fall under the airtime limits governing spot advertising.

By law, RAI’s ad limit is 12% of airtime per hour, while national private webs are allowed 18%.

In the popular “telepromozioni,” products are promoted during a program — rather than just before or after it — by a host who integrates promos into the program’s flow.

Fininvest maintained that product plugs should not be calculated in the hourly limit, and claimed the company stands to lose $ 275 million if the rules change, while RAI should lose about $ 158 million.