HC Deb 19 January 1998 vol 304 c680
7. Mr. Sheerman

When he will meet next leaders of the British film industry to discuss the growing use of product placement in films. [21447]

The Minister for Film and Tourism (Mr. Tom Clarke)

I have not received any representations on product placement.

Mr. Sheerman

When my hon. Friend meets people in the film industry, will he raise product placement with them? It is in some senses more dangerous with generic rather than specific products. There has been an increase in both Hollywood and British films showing people smoking. As advertising becomes more regulated, there is a great fear that tobacco giants will put more money into influencing young people through their heroes on the silver screen.

Mr. Clarke

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that information. Unlike in television, there is no legislation to deal with the matter in the film industry. I will pay close attention to the point.

Mr. Forth

I hope that the Minister will give the House an absolute assurance that he will not be tempted by the politically correct, modern health fascists, or any other minority group, to seek to interfere with the artistic freedom of those who make our films.

Mr. Clarke

Those in the industry would be the first to remind us that they, and indeed the audiences, have a say. They clearly know exactly where they are going, and the achievements even of the past eight months show that they have a successful future.