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Advertisers are warming to branded content, but UK regulations muddy the way it can fit into the mix, says Andy Fry
As IKEA prepared to dip a tentative toe into the murky waters of advertiser-funded programming (AFP), leading multi-channel broadcasters Flextech and UKTV unveiled a dedicated unit that will offer AFP as an alternative to spot ads and sponsorship. (Marketing, 12 and 19 May).
These developments come as the Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) is predicting the market for AFP, or branded content as it is also known, will increase more than fourfold in value from pounds 5m to pounds 22m this year.
It is not a huge amount when compared with the pounds 4bn a year spent on spot ads in the UK nor the pounds 100m earmarked for TV sponsorship. However, the fact that Nike, Nokia, Heinz, Renault, the COI and Carling have backed AFPs recently suggests the erosion of mainstream …