Must we be protected from product placements?

Share this article:
Earlier this week, the FCC announced that it would be reviewing rules on how TV shows inform viewers of in-show advertising practices. IE: that Gossip Girl episode that was pretty much an hour-long (and delightfully drama-filled!) Victoria's Secret commercial may be the sort of thing that comes with a disclaimer in the future.
The Washington Post quoted FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin explaining, "We want to make sure consumers understand and are aware that they are being advertised to. We ask how we should update our rules to reflect current trends in the industry."
In a way, he's right: it's probably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to transparency.
On the other hand, I'm a little bit offended that they feel the need to warn us of these things. How many people really don't think that Victoria's Secret paid to be mentioned 9 bajillion times during a much-talked-about primetime show? And if they don't realize it, is it really hurting them?
If a marketer is clever enough to organically integrate their product into a show, kudos to them: I think it makes the show more believable because, yes, real people do shop at chain stores and drink Coca-Cola and eat at McDonald's...though maybe not the people on Gossip Girl. If you're getting your brand name out there without annoying consumers and maybe even adding to their favorite shows, I would call that great marketing, and not a threat.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

Finally, A Data Program for the People

Finally, A Data Program for the People

A British website seeks voters' help in striking clichés from the stump speeches of political candidates.

Four Brand Emails That Offer Tricks and Treats

Four Brand Emails That Offer Tricks and Treats

Happy Halloween from my inbox to yours.

Creative Marketing Is Good; Useful, Relevant Messages Are Better

Creative Marketing Is Good; Useful, Relevant Messages Are ...

The next wave of the digital evolution is pushing marketers toward hyper-relevance; but not everyone is catching on.