March 10, 2006
Product Placement Backlash!

A handful of events seem to reveal a growing objection to product placement as a survival strategy in the entertainment industry.

Via TV Squad, a report that actors and writers are protesting product placement:

"Both groups are pushing for regulations, or a 'code of conduct' on product placement in television and movies. At the very least, they want more money for not only being storytellers but also advertising copywriters.

While Pepsi cans and Fed Ex trucks in the background are all strategically placed, the writers and actors have a problem when the powers-that-be require them to work products into a story or even write an entire story around a product."

Add to that an NYT article which C3 Advisor William Uricchio just passed us ("In Parody Video, Writers Ridicule Placing Products"):

A Hollywood union is stepping up its campaign against the embedding of brands and products in entertainment and, as they say in the movies, this time it's personal.

The Writers Guild of America, West, is making fun of the interweaving of sponsors' wares into films and TV shows with a so-called viral video that is scheduled to appear this week on a union-sponsored Web site ( The video mocks Tyra Banks, the host of the popular reality series America's Next Top Model, which features in its episodes the Cover Girl brand of cosmetics sold by the Procter & Gamble Company.

Tough times for the advertising industry?