Sunday, January 15, 2006

WGA on Product Placements

In a NYTimes article, The Writers Guild of America, West, a union representing writers in the movie and broadcast industry, has been particularly vociferous in denouncing the practice.  The union issued a report in November on the topic and demanded a code of conduct for producers that requires the disclosure of advertising deals through clear disclaimers at the start of programs. Failing that, they say, they will seek increased federal regulation to prevent what they call subliminal, stealth ads.

In addition, the writers' group argues that when shampoo becomes part of the narrative of a show, it is no longer product placement but "product integration." In a survey of its members last March, 73 percent said the line between advertising and content needed to be drawn more firmly.

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