The challenges of digitally placed advertising: Ofcom’s decisions on ‘undue prominence’ from the Singapore Grand Prix

Published 11 October 2018 By: Alex Kelham

F1 and Rolex overlay

The Singapore Grand Prix is a highlight of the F1 circuit. The night race attracts fans from around the world and looks spectacular on TV. The bright lights and razzmatazz are generally seen as a huge attraction to sponsors and broadcasters. However, Ofcom (the British regulator of TV broadcasting in the UK) felt Formula One Management (FOM) had gone too far1 with its commercial creativity in its coverage of the 2016 race. 

FOM's live feed (which is adopted by official broadcasters around the world) was embellished with a Rolex countdown 'watch' which was digitally superimposed2 into the arc of the observation wheel which towers over the Marina Bay circuit. The Rolex countdown watch appeared in the footage for around 17 seconds, as the broadcast counted down to qualifying.


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Alex Kelham

Alex Kelham

Alex is the Head of Lewis Silkin’s Sport Business Group. Her work focuses on advising entities across the sports sector on a wide range of predominantly commercial and IP issues.

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