'Countryfile' Criticised For Giving 'Undue Prominence' To A Clothing Brand

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Countryfile has been criticised by the BBC Trust for giving undue prominence to a brand of outdoor clothing.

Viewers complained that the clothing in two episodes of the popular BBC One show, presented by Matt Baker and Julia Bradbury alongside John Craven, Adam Henson and Ellie Harrison, amounted to product placement.

Programme-makers said it was "unfortunate" that the presenters should have chosen to wear the same brand of Rab outer wear, but said that it was "coincidence rather than collusion".

countryfile

"On each occasion the two presenters were working in different locations and with different directors, so it wasn't until the final editing stage that the problem became apparent," the BBC said.

It said that Countryfile presenters supply their own clothing and choose what they wear on shoots.

The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee ruled that the wearing of branded clothing by the presenters did not amount to product placement, as there was no evidence that it was worn in return for payment or any other consideration.

But it said "that the wearing of the same visibly branded clothing by two of the programme's presenters in the two editions of the programme did amount to undue prominence... which gave the impression that the programmes were promoting or endorsing these products."

The "cumulative effect was that the branded clothing was unduly prominent" and breached guidelines covering product prominence.

The programmes were broadcast in November and December last year.

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