Wednesday, March 11 2009,

Channel 4 has come out in support of culture secretary Andy Burnham's decision to continue the ban on product placement on UK television.

Burnham said that the ban would "protect the standards of broadcasting for which Britain is known worldwide" and dismissed arguments from commercial broadcasters that product placement was needed to combat falling advertising revenues.

Despite condemnation from ITV executive chairman Michael Grade, who pledged to fight the ruling, Channel 4 chief executive Andy Duncan said in a statement: "Channel 4 supports the decision on product placement. We have consistently taken the view that confusing the lines between editorial and advertising raises serious issues of trust for viewers.

"Relaxing the rules would deliver a marginal commercial benefit and do little to redress the growing funding imbalance between state and advertising funded broadcasting. It is essential this is properly addressed in the Digital Britain report if levels of investment in original British content are to be maintained."