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Morning News Anchors Drink McDonald's Coffee (For Cash)

Morning News Anchors Drink McDonald's Coffee (For Cash)

Each morning news anchors on Fox's Las Vegas affiliate sit in front of very visible McDonald's iced coffee cups, part of a product-placement deal. The fast-food chain sponsors the two-hour morning news-and-lifestyle segment, but instead of commercial breaks, the advertisement happens during the news.

Since advertisement dollars already influence networks, I think the product-placement deal raises some old conflict of interest concerns. The producers say they would pull the cups if they had to report a negative story about McDonald's, just as they would pull a regular commercial. Still, the covertness of the promotion could deceive some viewers not aware that McDonald's paid for the cups' placement.

To find out how political parties are incorporating product placement, and how the industry sees it,


Product integration happens a ton in scripted television, so much so that the Writers Guild of America wants it blatantly disclosed. The WGA says: "the hope is that consumers, not expecting to find a commercial within their program, will fail to realize they are actually being advertised to. This practice exploits the emotional connection viewers have with shows." Perhaps this expectation of neutrality increases significantly when dealing with news, as opposed to entertainment.

Going the overt-sponsorship road, the Democrats will be handing out AT&T logo-plastered bags at the Democratic National Convention. It's almost impossible not to see a conflict of interest here (telecom cough cough immunity) but, the Democrats assure that sponsorship does not equal access to politicians.

How should news stations and political parties reconcile high costs with integrity?

Join The Conversation
lovelie lovelie 9 years
The McDonalds coffee is horrible!! It tastes like it has been kept on the warmer for a week...and then they throw a few ice cubes in it. The announcers probably pour their starbucks coffee into the McDonalds cups.
zeze zeze 9 years
So no one knows if there is a way to get rid of my DVD really is a mandatory commercial... I was hoping I was DVD incompetent!
stephley stephley 9 years
Do they want to signal to the audience that it's just a local morning news show and it shouldn't be taken seriously?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
It's a local morning show. How serious could it be?
gigill gigill 9 years
I think there is a conflict of interest with these product placement thingys showing up in a newscast, sorry. It's fine for a light talk show like Regis & Kelly for example, but I don't want to see that stuff in a newscast.
syako syako 9 years
advertorials make me do this :rant: that happened on Fit Sugar once too. She had posted this whole "Fittingly Mad" post about how stupid the machine leg magic was and tearing it apart. And then I started noticing a few months later advertisements for the product! :jawdrop:
chancleta chancleta 9 years
i think it's part of making money as more and more americans turn to TiVo and bypass commericials companies are forced to become more innovative in their product placement personally i think it's business and doesn't bother me none
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Right. Did anyone else see that post on PetSugar quite a while back about those WholeMeals bars? They had been advertised on the site for a while, and then there was a regular post about them. The first, like, 5 comments were all like, "I get why you let them advertise but I can't believe you endorse such a low quality product!" and I think in about an hour it had been grey boxed and marked more clearly as advertising.
syako syako 9 years
well I guess if we want a free site, we get ads, huh?
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Well, those were not covert. There's still a lot of brand placement, though. Pop has a Chanel bag, Fit is using an iPod. Surprisingly, Geek is not holding an iPhone. I don't think those were paid for, though.
syako syako 9 years
:rotfl: I remember that too... where's the pot calling the kettle black emoticon? ;)
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I think so. Weren't all the Sugar characters wearing Banana Republic and holding Vitamin Water? At least they were upfront about it, though. There was some announcement about the deal.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Didn't Sugar have a deal with Vitamin Water a few months back.... :?
syako syako 9 years
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Right, Smartwater in your LV bag. The advertising was distracting in that movie. I half expect Carrie to get a Nike tattoo on her forehead in the sequel.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Of course! They wanted to use M&Ms, but M&Ms didn't want to be associated with a "monster movie."
syako syako 9 years
reeses pieces first product placement ever in E.T. remember the scene?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Only if I can have Smart Water, too!
True-Song True-Song 9 years
I wish we didn't have product placement advertising, but it's a smart idea, so all we can do is pay attention. Anyone want to buy a Mercedes, go shopping for Manolos while drinking Starbucks and chatting on your iPhone pulled out of your purse on loan from Bag, Borrow, or Steal after watching the Sex and the City movie?
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 9 years
with tivo and dvr people are just fast-forwarding through commercials so this seems like a more cost-effective way of advertising. this is just an old advertising practice being re-hashed for modern convenience. personally, i really don't mind something negligible like coffee cups on a local morning news program or coca-cola in a movie... it's only mirroring real-life anyway. it beats sitting through a 30 sec commercial and you know what? those mcdonald's iced coffees are actually pretty darn good. i agree with jennisuga- as long as it isn't negative or offensive, what's the harm?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Mine are brought to you by Tums, TumsTums, Tums Tummmmmms.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
My comments are sponsored by Skyy Vodka.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
This just makes me think of Wayne's World and giggle. Little, Yellow, Different.
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