Letter: Striking a balance over sponsorship of the arts

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The Independent Online
Sir: As an international lawyer specialising in sponsorship of arts and sports events, I have some sympathy your Arts Correspondent, David Lister, in his piece in which he bemoans the increasing commercial demands made by corporate sponsors on arts companies.

Like so many other areas of human endeavour, it is a question of striking the right balance between artistic and commercial needs and avoiding any excesses, such as 'product placement', which, incidentally, is generally prohibited on television and radio, under the corresponding codes of programme sponsorship.

Perhaps similar codes of practice regulating this and other 'undesirable' marketing practices should be drawn up for the theatre and the opera house, as well as the concert and exhibition halls.

However, one must not lose sight of the fact that, without corporate sponsorship, so many arts and cultural events would never see the light of day, and over-regulation, especially in matters of taste, might well result in overkill.

Yours faithfully,

IAN BLACKSHAW

London, EC3

24 March

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