The newly-installed professor of marketing at Oxford University is stoking the fires of debate on the future of advertising by expressing doubts about product placement and advertiser-created TV shows.

Says Dr Douglas Holt, who has taken up his L'Oreal funded post at the Said Business School after being head-hunted from Harvard: "The 30-second advertisement on TV may well die but in five to 10 years from now sponsored film will be the dominant way to build iconic brands." And he believes these films will appear at the start of DVDs or internet broadcasts.

Dr Holt adds neither product placement not advertiser- linked shows can communicate a strong enough message to consumers.

Among the blue-chip advertisers planning these kinds of initiatives - that are ultimately ill-fated according to Dr Holt - is car company Audi, which is to launch a branded TV channel being developed by London ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Consumer goods giant Unilever also has plans for advertising-funded content in Britain, while in India it is making a TV programme combining Bollywood and western fashions to promote a local cosmetics brand.

In the US the company helped to fund a Sunday night drama on the ABC network showing a fictional family using Unilever brands such as Lipton Tea.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff