It’s the number one rule when you are a fashion expert on TV; don’t favour any brand over the other – keep it all neutral. However it seems Mark Heyes, who most will know from ITV’s Lorraine show in the morning, broke the golden rule and has now been lammed by television executives.
The freelance fashion expert is employed as a brand ambassador for Debenhams and as repeatedly plugged the high street brand over others on his weekly slot. It has also been noted that Heyes sits in on the judging panel for Lorraine’s annual “High Street Fashion Awards” and for the last two years Debenhams have been crowned as the best Department Store. Despite this a spokesperson for the show insists that this accolade is a publicly voted award and that “His role outside the show does not affect editorial decisions.”
Producers have now warned Heyes, who this week interviewed Coleen Rooney as part of his broadcasting role, that his continuing mention of Debenhams represents a “potential conflict of interest.”
Heye’s is not, however, the only daytime presenter who has been flagged for breaking product placement guidelines. Holly Willoughby and Gino D’Acampo have also received warnings.
Bosses at ITV have added that it is important there is no favouritism on any brand on shows and products should be selected based on how they look and not which label they belong too. They have highlighted that since 2010 rules on product placement have become stricter after Ofcom altered guidelines; now any questions about prohibited references to products (or services) have to now be discussed and resolved with the talent and their agent.
The spokesperson ended by adding that “ITV ensures that all of the talent are aware of and comply with the Ofcom code on product placement and undue prominence. This is an ongoing dialogue.”
Heyes is now back on screen working.