A stateside trend engendering much mistrust in Albion’s Sceptr’d Isle is the involvement of advertisers and agencies in TV programme production – an activity regarded in some UK media quarters as tantamount to lese-majesty.

Advertiser-funded programming has been slow to take off in Britain although a handful now grace – or pollute (according to viewpoint) – the nation’s airwaves.

Among the pioneers are Five’s Pepsi Chart Show and The Real DIY Show financed by B&Q on Granada Television.This relative paucity is attributed to Britain's broadcasting rules which prohibit direct brand promotion within a programme.

But UK ad shop Bartle Bogle Hegarty, defying risk of incarceration in the Tower of London, has seized the bull by the horns with the launch of a new programme production unit.

“Agencies have been talking about this for some time, but I suspect one of the reasons it hasn't happened is it's a very different business from making commercials,” says BBH managing director Gwyn Jones.

“A lot of our clients are very interested in looking at the ad-funded model but are not sure how to go about it. We believe television as a medium is still enormously important for advertisers, but we need to look at new ways of communicating messages about brands.”

Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff