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Should Product Placement Be Disclosed to Viewers?

I tend to just roll my eyes when I see blatant product placement on TV, like The New York Times' example of Simon, Paula, and Randy sipping on Cokes during episodes of American Idol. But the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) is a bit more sensitive about the issue and is wondering if networks should be required to explicitly disclose product placement.

F.C.C. commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein commented, "We’re not saying they can’t do it — we’re just saying they have to let the audience know what they’re doing." The F.C.C. is considering mandating that brand names appear at the beginning or end of a show, but critics say that this type of interference would take away from a show's entertainment value.

Some advertisers consider themselves "junior writers" because the high level of integration some products achieve goes far beyond the characters' fashion choices. The Times informs us that two episodes of The Office were written around a Staples scanner in order to promote the brand. But as long as the writing quality doesn't suffer, does it matter the show is marketing a product? Would it make a difference to you if these arrangements were disclosed?

Source

museanima museanima 9 years
I don't mind them, as long as the actor doesn't look directly in the camera and hold it up like Vanna White. I like it when they work them in so well that you dont notice it until the girls mention it at the water cooler the next morning.
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I like when shows like the Office and 30 Rock have product placement, because they are sometimes so blatant about it that it makes the show even funnier.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
I've never had product placement effect my purchases so I don't care either way. I rarely notice them.
rickimc rickimc 9 years
Product placement does not bother me, but it would be nice if they would disclose it, maybe say "This program sponsored by..."
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
I used to work for a company that arranged product placement for like every movie ever made, so I notice EVERYTHING. I don't think it would matter to me if they disclosed it or not because I'll already have noticed the little things people don't always notice.
millarci millarci 9 years
LMAO ----> Liss' comment
chicagojlo chicagojlo 9 years
I noticed while watching some old 90210 episodes that this is nothing new - David Silver popping endless cans of Dr Pepper at every opportunity! I think sometimes they take it way too far - any Bravo show for example, and then there was that One Tree Hill episode that was an hour long ad for Sunkist. I've seen it mentioned in the credits of some shows that promotional consideration was paid by certain companies, usually for cars etc. Why can't they just make that a bit clearer (without that turning into an ad also?)?
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I always wonder what is in the Coca Cola cups on AI. You know its not soda in Paula's!
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
coming from someone who works in the advertising industry - i think that if advertisers were to be required to disclose the relationship at the beginning of a show, then the price of the integration would sky rocket and it would be harded to do. in many cases, it's not a MAJOR brand that's trying to get visibility and that's why they are able to do the integration - since it's not paid advertising in the traditional sense. it really doesn't hurt anyone does it to have the product placement there? no one got upset about ET back in the day with the reese pieces...
lawchick lawchick 9 years
the American Idol thing is so OBVIOUS that I can't imagine anyone is really influenced by it
millarci millarci 9 years
I actually find it hilarious (and I roll my eyes) when tv shows promote products. I almost laughed out loud when I saw SmartWater and VitaminWater being promoted on SATC movie.
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