During coverage of the World Hockey Championships earlier this year, hosted in Prague, moderator Pavel Richter turned some heads when he took a break on live TV to order himself a meal from McDonald’s, one of the sponsors of the event.
In a clearly-scripted segment, Richter is seen exiting the McDonald’s tent and bringing a tray back with him to the moderator’s table. The camera follows him as he walks past a giant McDonald’s banner.
When he gets back the booth, he offers a French fry to his co-host but thrusting it in front of her face. You can view the entire incident in the clip below:
The RRTV (Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting), a government body that oversees broadcasting on Czech TV and other state-run channels, was not amused by Richter’s actions.
In a press release issued last Tuesday, the RRTV announced that it had issued a 350,000 CZK fine over the incident for violation of its product placement policies. The maximum fine would have been 2.5 million CZK, according to iDnes.
“The product placement was the primary focus of the introduction to the program,” the wrote the RRTV, as reported by iDnes. “The item remained the focus even while the commentators were speaking, despite the fact that in terms of the theme, it had no significance […] therefore resulting in undue emphasis on the product.”
Apparently, all the other corporate logos that filled the screen during the broadcast – including the three bottles of coke on the moderator’s desks – were within the acceptable bounds.