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Product Placement Making Its Way Onto TV News Sets

We might be used to the ever-present Coke cups in front of Simon and Paula during American Idol, but this type of product placement has, until now, been absent on TV news sets. A few weeks ago, the morning anchors at Las Vegas KVVU started delivering news and lifestyle information with cups of McDonald's iced coffee in front of them.

The station's news director indicated that the cups would be removed if a negative report of McDonald's surfaced. The price of the deal was not revealed, but the arrangement is meant to boost advertising revenue. The news director adds that he won't include any product placement in the hard newscasts at 5 p.m. or 10 p.m.

Herbert Jack Rotfeld, a professor of marketing at Auburn University, thinks including advertising in news segments is, well, bad news: "In the end, they just make the audiences even more skeptical of everything," he says. Do you agree with him?


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
see it's not unethical. it's not like the advertiser isn't paying for that some how. coke pays AI to have that promotion - and i'm sure that it's the case with a lot of companies. i work in advertising and when you want to do something that's not your typical ad buy since you know that you're not going to get through the clutter of 30 other ads, product placement is the next best way to go to be more custom.
rabidmoon rabidmoon 8 years
It is unethical and I do take it seriously because lots of "little deals" = "big deal" in that this relentless marketing and branding is becoming so prevalent in society that we are becoming numb to it. I am sick of it, to be honest.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
It's not like most of these cushy morning newscasts are actually saying anything valuable to begin with--what's there to take seriously when they're not really talking about anything important to begin with? I think that it could become a bigger problem when they're talking about actual hard-newscasts, but they've admitted to that and won't be using it, so I don't see a problem.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
As working in marketing --I hardly ever pay attention to PP. I know its there but its not there. It's nothing new: remember when you use to watch your favorite sports or an event and they had the posters in the background with the sponsors ---same concept.
lizs lizs 8 years
This isn't anything new - VNRs (video news releases) have been around for quite some time, and they're basically commercials. (For the unacquainted, a VNR is a news/marketing piece financed and produced by the business or institution that it features, rather than by a news program's "investigative" reporters. Many groups use them, including hospitals.) Some stations require them to be identified, others just work them into their newscasts....
javsmav javsmav 8 years
Local and 24 hour "news" is so sensationalized, I'm already skeptical of everything they say. So sure, throw in a McDonald's coffee cup. They have no integrity to lose.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
a program that's supposed to be fair and balanced should not be pushing an agenda--or a product. i understand the need for this kind of advertising, but it has no place on the news.
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 8 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. as long as it isn't negative or offensive, what's the harm?
Beauty Beauty 8 years
So unethical.
LVC LVC 8 years
I live in LV and will not watch that channel for news at all! It is really all one big advertisement. Especially the lifestyle program "MORE". It was ok at first. Just mindless news/entertainment. But after seeing the SAME "reports" from the same dentists, cosmetic surgeons, hotels, spas...(you get the picture)I could not stand it anymore. It is so blatent and bad!!!
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