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Group Asks Gov't to Crack Down on Product Placement

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the drink-pepsi dept.

Television 614

Buck Mulligan writes "The rise of commercial-skipping Tivo has resulted in greater reliance on "product placement," and Commercial Alert has filed a petition (pdf) with the Federal Trade Commission urging the agency to crack down on the practice. Gary Ruskin of Commercial Alert writes: "The interweaving of advertising and programming has become so routine that television networks now are selling to advertisers a measure of control over aspects of their programming. Some programs are so packed with product placements that they are approaching the appearance of infomercials. The head of a company that obtained repeated product placements actually called one such program 'a great infomercial.' Yet these programs typically lack the disclosure required of infomercials to uphold honesty and fair dealing.""

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614 comments

FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098355)

Lick...me!

Re:FP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098370)

Wow, that was some fast moderation! Good work, somebody! I just posted that like 5 seconds ago

Just don't look. (4, Interesting)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098358)

Kill their ratings and it will stop. Simple. Besides, it has Paul Anka's guarantee.

Re:Just don't look. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098555)

Boycott? Are you joking? This is Turddot, the site where hypocracy reigns and the people here are too weak to cut free from their infor^Wentertainment IV tubes.

Stop inviting the government everywhere (5, Insightful)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098362)

Why should companies be prevented by the government from doing product placement? Now, if a program sucks because of product placement, people will stop watching the program, and the company that makes the product will stop doing the product placement. Let the market control how shitty TV programs are and stop bringing government into every damn thing.

A little First Post happy?? (4, Informative)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098398)

Maybe if you read the whole story before clicking reply:
Yet these programs typically lack the disclosure required of infomercials to uphold honesty and fair dealing.

Re:A little First Post happy?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098446)

Damn.. you consider this an intelligent retort while quoting something that says "honesty" and "Informercial" in the same sentence????

Re:A little First Post happy?? (4, Insightful)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098530)

Right. But they still have all those rules about fraud.

Show us an example of a bad product placement, one that would be changed by requirements of "honesty and fair dealing," and then perhaps we can consider laws to rectify the problem.

Otherwise, no one cares.

Pffft... (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098543)

When I flip thru channels after a long nite out there are many infomercials. They only state that it is a commercial at the beginning and end. I wouldn't consider that disclosure. Disclosure would be a permenant banner on the bottom of the screen.

Re:A little First Post happy?? (1)

jamesmrankinjr (536093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098545)

I read that sentence, and still agree whole heartedly that the government shouldn't be involved in this.

Peace be with you,
-jimbo

Re:Stop inviting the government everywhere (5, Interesting)

Entrope (68843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098449)

Why should the government impose any limits at all on advertising? If enough people die from taking drugs for a condition where the drug hurts rather than helps, people will stop buying that drug, right?

Government intervention may be appropriate here because product placement is a form of commercial speech, and courts have recognized that the government has legitimate interest in limiting some forms of commercial speech. The steps you hypothesize for the market to limit the product are naive: How many old TV shows or movies stopped using cigarettes because they caused lung cancer?

Re:Stop inviting the government everywhere (0, Redundant)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098450)

Its all fun and games till corporations start buying product placement in the news and you can't tell its really an ad.

Re:Stop inviting the government everywhere (5, Funny)

Brahmastra (685988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098483)

There's actually plenty of product placement in the news. Most of those products are F-15s, F-22s, Apaches, and other stuff made by companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. They're constantly admiring and raving about the cool weapons. The final product they want to sell is of course war.

Re:Stop inviting the government everywhere (5, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098490)

Let the market control how shitty TV programs are and stop bringing government into every damn thing.

Because the market is doing such a great job of controling the quality of television programming here, especially compared to places where the programming quality is clearly inferior, like those socialist English folks and their BBC.

That's not even really the point, of course. What's being suggested is that product placement needs to be monitored for the sorts of suggestions that made truth in advertising laws necessary.

Re:Stop inviting the government everywhere (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098524)

Because the market is doing such a great job of controling the quality of television programming here

You are right. The crap on TV? Everybody in the US loves it. That's our country.

Due Process (2, Interesting)

SparklesMalone (623241) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098546)

OK, I understand you don't like government regulation. But since we HAVE regulation over commercials the petition is saying there shouldn't be an end run via product placement. If you're not going to eliminate the regulation of commercials then apply the rules across the board. The petition isn't saying to get rid of product placement, it's only saying the standards should apply to both.

i.e. everyone gets treated the same. No counting a commercial from Broward county without counting a product placement from Franklin

DAILY REMINDERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098366)

DAILY REMINDERS:

Howard Stern (4, Interesting)

(54)T-Dub (642521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098372)

I heard howard interview a b-movie actress who said that she gets paid by advertisers to drop a product name on interview shows (eg: The tonight show).

Re:Howard Stern (5, Informative)

tpaddock (254149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098501)

It was Kathy Griffin, and she said she got paid to go tour around all the talk shows with her only goal being to advertise the product. She would slip in it in story, and often had to tell the show beforehand that she was there to promote the product.

Yea, Well, (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098374)

Any suggestions for other ways to pay for television besides ads or product placement? Don't say "pledge".

Re:Yea, Well, (1)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098448)

Uh, ever heard of the BBC? It's payed for by a tax on all television sets sold. Really!

Re:Yea, Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098539)

I've heard of the BBC.

Government Regulation (4, Insightful)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098378)

This is one thing I strongly disagree with. The government should not step in and tell us wether or not we can place certain products or use certain 'props' in tv shows, movies, or anything else.. If people hate the advertising that goes with tv programming, then they should boycott it all together or complain to the people who create the shows. Having the government regulate it is definitely restricting our civil rights.

Re:Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098402)

Oh come on! How will we ever get the Department of Thought Control in place with those sentiments?

Re:Government Regulation (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098506)

Next I suppose you'll be saying that parents should not complain when their children's schools are filled with advertisements for and machines selling unhealthy foods with big brand names -- after all, we have to pay for schools somehow. It would be inappropriate for parents to complain to the school board, since that kind of decision might be made at the school level rather than the district level. Complain to the principal, who is already probably overworked and trying to balance too many things at once!

Re:Government Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098541)

You're suggesting that TV is as important as education.

That is wrong.

School != TV (1)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098554)

School, a government place, should be regulated. People pay taxes for their schools, and thus, should have some form of representation into allowing or denying "product placement". You can't compare that to TV, which is owned by private companies and is free to people.

Re:Government Regulation (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098536)

I'm fairly libertarianish, but you need to realize where this is coming from.

Newspapers and magazines can do essentially anything they want, in the US. Broadcast bandwidth is a scarce resource, though, and needs to be regulated or it would be worthless. For that reason, broadcast rights are strictly limited by the FCC, and there are regulations that limit how people with broadcast rights can act, including how much commercial content they can run.

I'm not especially worked up about product placement (the WB keeps driving up the resale value of my TiBook, and now Rory Gilmore is increasing the prestige of my Yale degree, as well!) but given that I'd go to jail if I opened by own TV station, I see the reason to tell ABC and CBS what they can do with theirs.

Re:Government Regulation (4, Interesting)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098549)

It isn't really about restricting advertising in TV shows, it's about the truth of those advertisements. There are restrictions on what you can say in a normal ad (you can't create an ad that says smoking cigarettes will cure lung cancer). The issue is whether the cigarette company could instead pay a tv show to do it for them.

I agree. (5, Funny)

jjp5421 (659783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098380)

Yes, as I sit here reading with my ice cold, refreshing Coca-Cola, I think that you are correct. The only way to get this to stop is by signing the Adobe Acrobat PDF petition.

Just turn the box off... (5, Insightful)

TedTschopp (244839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098381)

I know it sounds wierd... but people need to realize that watching TV is not a right. And the producers of programs need to be compensated for their production.

Do you want the governemnt to get larger and create more regulation? Do you want free TV? If so then expect commericals. Expect product placement. If you don't then purchase your TV channels. Or just turn the silly thing off.

Read a book. Perferably a classic... but that's another topic.

Ted

Re:Just turn the box off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098439)

People need to realize that reading a book is not a right.

Re:Just turn the box off... (5, Informative)

honeygrl (512483) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098489)

"If you don't then purchase your TV channels. "

We do purchse our TV channels. The cable company pays X cents per channel per Y # of customers for each channel they offer. Each channel sets their price. My hubby works for the local cable company and told me the reason cable prices had gone up was because they had been paying 10 cents per channel for Y number of customers and the price had gone up to 30 cents. The stations can pretty much raise the price all they want and people don't complain to them because they don't know how it works. They just complain to the cable company about their prices going up instead.

Re:Just turn the box off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098495)

the thing that pisses me off is that i fucking pay 75/month for cable fuck the commercials. it should be free if they want me to watch their commercials.

Re:Just turn the box off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098500)

And the producers of programs need to be compensated for their production.........Or just turn the silly thing off.

Hey Mr. PIRATE.. if you turn off the TV then you won't see the ads, and eventually they will go out of business. How will they get compensated then??

Not watching TV is a form of theft, same as copying CDs, or stealing from the liquor store. People who think they can just "turn it off" better think twice! The networks *are* watching you and they *will* protect their rights!

Re:Just turn the box off... (3, Insightful)

randito (159822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098508)

Actually, I do want goverment to get larger and create more regulation, and I do want free TV. OK, I live in Canada, I have a government I can trust <grin>.

I look at my favorite TV shows, including Black Adder, Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf, Dr. Who, Absolutly Fabulous, Monty Python etc. and realize that they all came out of a government funded, non-profit television network. The programming shows a creativity and reality unheard of in for-profit television production. Absolutly Fabulous couldn't even be produced in the current american environment, advertisers and producers are too afraid of controversy! Instead, we get Friends!

Re:Just turn the box off... (5, Insightful)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098552)

I know it sounds wierd... but people need to realize that watching TV is not a right. And the producers of programs need to be compensated for their production.

You might have a point when it comes to cable and satalite TV but we do have a right to dictate how the public airwaves are used. We the public grant TV stations the right to use the airwaves for their broadcast in return for their promise to adhere to a standard of quality that we set. The TV companies are then free to do anything that will make them a profit but only as long as they play by the rules we set.

That means that if enough people want to regulate product placement, then product placement will be regulated. Our airwaves, our rules.

Re:shhhhh (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098561)

be quiet or they'll figure out that they aren't entitled to secure jobs or expensive medications either!! Then politics itself will be doomed!

And they asked the government for help? (1)

westendgirl (680185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098385)

The head of a company that obtained repeated product placements actually called one such program 'a great infomercial.' Yet these programs typically lack the disclosure required of infomercials to uphold honesty and fair dealing."

When it comes to honesty, fair dealings and an end to promoting agendas, the government is certainly going to get to the bottom of it. I've going to call CNN right now to find out who puts those "growth" and "jobs" signs behind Dubya....

Oh, I don't worry about that. (4, Funny)

cliffy2000 (185461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098386)

I use my TIVO(c) DVR and I can fast forward through any of those annoying commercials. Did I mention that I love my IKEA(c) bed? It's so comfortable.
Now, let me finish typing this on my APPLE(c) Powerbook G4.

And speaking of TiVo... (3, Interesting)

Atario (673917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098512)

...why are we blaming TiVo for increasing product placement? Seems to me you could just as easily blame the Internet (before I got a TiVo, I would web-surf during the ads) or the remote control (before that, I channel-surfed).

Or, more pointedly, you could blame the networks. Same people who bring you corner logos (now opaque, full-color, moving pictures, on all the time) and promos during the end credits (no longer content to talk over them, now they squish them off to an unreadable size and speed and insert a 75%-screen-coverage full-video promo spot) and even during the show (superimposed crawls, anyone?).

They can all lick my center of gravity.

Should I worry about this crack down? (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098388)

If I am to believe the "Slippery Slope" theory of crackdowns, then this could follow through to a crackdown on signatures on /.

I've been using product placement in my /. sig for almost my whole /.'ing life; innocently advertising humour while I make a valuable contribution to the comments here. :-)

trying to hold back the ocean with a bucket... (2, Funny)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098389)

talk about wishful thinking - are the mega-corps really going to pass on this opportunity? Every time Jennifer Anistion gets her hair cut millions of American women run out and get the latest new hairdo. So why not include candy bars, soda pop, and autos? I say lets bring back smoking on TV and really get the money rolling in!

Welcome ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098390)

I, for one, welcome our new overlords. Hope you notice that I am drinking new Crystal Pepsi *wink wink*

Why is this important? (2, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098391)

I have a complementary issue: Why do you or don't you watch TV? Is it fun, worthwhile, interesting, and fulfilling? Is it passive, tedious, exploitative, and manipulative?

If very few people spent much time watching content filled with commercials, what would happen? What would advertisers do?

Re:Why is this important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098437)

TV sucks, and I don't watch it. The programming is usuall sub-par and the commercials most often an insult to my intelligence.

But watch out for a flood of people who will now accuse you of being a holier-than-thou "kill your television" fuckwad because you don't share their taste in entertainment. At least one of them will point to the Onion article about the "I don't watch TV guy." You'll see. It'll happen.

Too bad it's unenforcable... (2, Insightful)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098403)

outlawing product placement would also drive all travel shows off the air, as well as monster house, monster garage, all game shows, all shows set in an obvious city (like Las Vegas), etc. Seriously, where do you draw the line?

Democracy thrives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098533)

"Democracy dies behind closed doors."

No, it is the only place democracy has a chance. If you can't close the door on that voting booth, you end up with "public voting" and in third world countries, the government reprisals that follow.

Keep the doors CLOSED thanks.

It's not ALWAYS bad (1)

r_glen (679664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098405)

I feel special knowing that a counter-terrorist agent saving America drives a Ford, just like me!

Note to Commercial Alert: I was not payed for my above reference to Ford Motors, Inc.

Different products in different markets (2, Interesting)

blamanj (253811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098407)

This is really a side issue, but the distributors are getting power over the content based on product ads as well.

For example, assume Miramax signs a deal with Coors such that all characters in a film are shown drinking Coors in the US version of the film, but signs a different deal for the Asian distribution so that the characters are shown drinking Kirin. They simply digitally edit the masters for each region.

While that example was fictional, there have been independant films that have been modified by the distributor because the filmmaker use the "wrong" product when making the movie.

Product placement is the future of movies (3, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098408)

I don't know about television, but there is little question that the only possible response to movie piracy is product placement. With product placement, you might even encourage people to pirate movies.

thad

Six Words.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098409)

Queer Eye For The Straight Guy

what's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098412)

If it's a choice between the media companies stifling technological innovation because they want you to watch ads instead of fast-forwarding, and media companies putting ads in the shows, I'll take the ads in the shows!

It's not like most TV programming is anything pure and noble anyway, do you really sit down to watch major network TV expecting anything but a slick commercial experience? Do you let your kids learn about life by watching sitcoms?

Besides, what's annoying about ads is their intrusiveness. If they are un-intrusive, I don't have as much of a problem.

So please, let's have "interstitial" commercials die, they no longer make sense in the age of DVR's and so forth. Product placement is a first step.

(Of course the BEST thing would be a higher cable fee in exchange for no ads whatsoever but I'm not holding my breath!)

NBC and Computer Associates. (4, Interesting)

EggMan2000 (308859) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098413)

Product placement has been getting on my nerves lately on NBC specifically. My wife thinks I weird to point it out, but, man it is laughable at some the blatent placement. A couple examples concerning on company: Computer Associates [ca.com]



I was watching ER, and they had three of their products in promenetly displayed near some binders at the check-in nursing station thing. Why would a nurses station need to have software such as ArcServIT, BrightStor, UniCenter, etc.. all nicely lined up next to the monitor of their PC? It's just so odd, and does not fit in with the audience at all. These are Enterprise software suites that cost thousands of dollars.

Additionally, I saw the very same CA lineup in "Just Shoot Me", behind the CEO's desk, next to pictures of his family, and stuff. It would make so much more sense if the product placements were appropriate to the audience.

Re:NBC and Computer Associates. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098455)

I worked for CA, and they put screen grabs of those NBC shows on their corporate intranet. It's obvious that CA paid off NBC to put huge banners up so that wealthy software-buying viewers would be aware of those brand names.

CA rep: "We'd like to tell you about Unicenter."
Client: "Oh yeah, I've seen that somewhere before..."

Commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098414)

I like ads. The ads are more entertaining than the actual program, (unless it's sports or news). I would like to watch 20 minutes of commercials and 10 minutes of program.

Re:Commercials (1)

sevenoftoine (556762) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098457)

Remember, shows are "filler". They don't make money off the shows. They make money off the commercials. Now on the other hand, if a show's star says "wow, this XYZ potion got rid of all my wrinkles", then I would agree with the poster, that the FCC/FTC/DEA should be involved.

How about regular commercials? (1)

randito (159822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098416)

Never mind product placement, how about plain old commercials?. I opted out of having a cableTV feed a decade ago because I found the amount of commercials annoying, and use the local video store instead. Watching TV at friends houses on occasion, I am in awe at their conditioned tolerace for these commerecial's length, obnoxiousness, and frequency, which seem to have grown to the point where they overshadow the program iteself.

big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098417)

infomercials sell crap. product placement in a show, making the show into an infomercial, just means they are selling crap.

if you have half a brain you don't buy the crap pitched in infomercials, so who cares if they try to pitch it in a tv show?

tv show = infomercial = crap. nuff said.

Product Placement in comments (5, Funny)

generic-man (33649) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098419)

As I sit down in front of my Dell monitor drinking Mountain Dew Code Red ("A taste as real as the streets"), I can't help but wonder the depths to which product placement has affected us. After all, wasn't it in "The Matrix" - Catch The Matrix Revolutions only in theaters this November where we are encouraged to "free our minds"? I can't believe that TiVo - TV Your Way is being blamed for a decline in traditional advertising on networks like Fox -- check out their new Monday night line-up!.

I think people need to mellow out with a Guinness Draught - drink straight from the bottle and just learn to enjoy the ride. After all, if you really wanted to enjoy some independent thought, you wouldn't watch Philips High-Definition Plasma Screen - higher-resolution than reality.

Think about it (1, Redundant)

Exiler (589908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098421)

I was just sitting here drinking my Syrup-syra from a new, bigger 24 oz. bottle when I spilled some on my new PoP(TM) pre-torn bleached shirt because I was laughing at the SUK network, the best channel in the world when I realized, damn, we're surrounded by advertising.

I quickly got into my Maku Jumhp basketball shoes and ran outside, trying to get away from the labels and icons.

All of TV is about sales... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098428)

...and if you don't know that, then, well, you shouldn't be watching TV. I mean really... selling on TV! Oooh! TV shows on broadcast TV are not some pristine, ad-free venues for directors and writers. They're corporate schlock designed to sell or to influence. Hell, the US gov't has been paying TV series for years if they include a "drungs are bad, m'kay?" theme in the story. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go purchase a fantastic /. t-shirt from Think Geek [thinkgeek.com]

Product placement is REALISTIC (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098432)

I remember the big controversy over the Cheerio's box in the first Superman movie.

People should realize that such product placement ads some realism. It looks artificial when you see those "Home Improvement" reruns and the kids are all drinking a vaguely-Coke-looking generic cola.

Remember, in the real world, people actually do drink Snapple, and eat Junior Mints (a couple of examples of name-brand products appearing in "Seinfeld")

As long as they do not go overboard like Dr Tongue in the 3-d House of Pancakes and waggle bottles of Mrs Butterworth in your face.

Re:Product placement is REALISTIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098538)

Jerry Seinfeld drives a Saab, but I'll never even consider buying one. :)

Product placement is good (1, Insightful)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098433)

Product placement is used to uphold the realism in television and movies. Chances are, even without advertising, that movies would contain scenes where characters drink Coke or go to Wal-Mart. With product placement, shows get to generate some extra cash to make their show for something they were likely to do in the first place.
Back in the old old old Edison days, there wasn't product placement. In films characters held bottles labeled 'Beer' and ate from boxes labeled 'Cereal.' Things like that just wouldn't cut it today.
One of the number one things in movies that kills realism to me is when someone gives their phone number as 555-1234. Most all movies are guilty of this, and it destroys the suspension of disbelief when no matter where in America the film is set, they have the same phone number.

Re:Product placement is good (2, Insightful)

Peyna (14792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098557)

You do realize that beer actually did at one time come in cans that said nothing more than 'Beer'?

It would be a problem if it worked... (1)

ctrl-alt-elite (679492) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098440)

Product placement would be a major problem... if it was actually effective advertising. It has absolutely no effect on people like me, and I watch a lot of TV.

All this talk about product placement has made me hungry and thirsty, so if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hop on my Segway(tm) and cruise over to my local AmPm(tm) to purchase a can of refreshing Pepsi(tm) and a peanut-rich Snickers(tm) brand candy bar. Yum.

Hmmm (2, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098441)

I don't know if it's really that bad. What's more annoying: a full-force block of annoying commercials, or random insertion of objects into programs as examples of typical use? Do you want a 30 second song-and-dance involving anthropomorphic anything, or being able to see that Monica is obviously using the newest Swiffer to clean the kitchen floor, and maybe makes a remark to the effect of how well it works?

Actually, I think people would rather have the commercials. Companies realize that commercial blocks are incredibly easy to get up and walk away from, and people use those bits of time to get other stuff done. If they can remove the obvious demarcation between programming and advertising, the audience is captive.

Don't "blame" TiVo (3, Interesting)

ScottSpeaks! (707844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098445)

TiVo doesn't "skip commercials" any more than a VCR does. Either one requires the viewer to fast-play while watching the screen and then press a button when it reaches the part of the recording you want to watch. TiVo performs the job less clunkily than a VCR (the advantage of disk storage over tape), but that's it. (I believe ReplayTV is the one that actually has a commercial-skipping feature.)

Info-mercial-tainment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098452)

I actually really enjoy the Pleasantville commerical where the new vacuum cleaner brings colorization and sexual revolution to a 50s household.

Government and Money (1)

quizwedge (324481) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098456)

First off, I would agree with others... keep the government out of it. Why do we cry to the government for things like this? Why shouldn't shows be allowed to show me products?

This leads to the money issue. If they can't sell commercial because no one is watching them and they can't do product placement, how are they supposed to make money? People paying to receive their channels? Nope, that money goes to your Cable company or Dish network provider or, you don't pay anything because you get it by your own antenna.

Furthermore, the more government intervention, the more the government does, the more people they need, the more they need to pay, the more we have to pay in taxes.

Bigger Fish to Fry (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098459)

We've got bigger fish to fry.

First off, I have to say that when it's done decently, I see no problem with product placement. Untill it's like the hot chocolate mix add in the movie "The Truman Show", I don't have a problem. I don't mind if when a guy is drinking a soda on TV it's a REAL Coke can as opposed to something that looks almost exactly like a Coke can but say "Cola" on it or something. As long as the camera doesn't zoom in on it or otherwise notice it, it's fine with me.

That said, if there is one thing to fix on TV, I would make the language get fixed. Prime time TV has become a sewer. "I Love Lucy" was (and still is) a funny show without having to have the characters talk like sailors. There are some situations where I understand it (ER does a good job for the most part) but overall I think there is too much cursing on TV. That famous "7 words you can't say on TV" bit (I think it's George Carlin's?), I think I heard that almost all of those words are allowed now.

I haven't noticed an increase in product placement, which means that if it's happening, they are doing a good job and I don't mind. I'd rather we focus on the cussing.

Sorry guys, that's the facts, IMHO.

Re:Bigger Fish to Fry (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098526)

That said, if there is one thing to fix on TV, I would make the language get fixed. Prime time TV has become a sewer. "I Love Lucy" was (and still is) a funny show without having to have the characters talk like sailors. There are some situations where I understand it (ER does a good job for the most part) but overall I think there is too much cursing on TV. That famous "7 words you can't say on TV" bit (I think it's George Carlin's?), I think I heard that almost all of those words are allowed now.

Fuck you. I'm an adult, and I don't appreciate being spoken down to for the sake of not offending a handful of religious nutjobs. That's why I never watch movies that are broadcast on TV. The commercials, fine. But when Bruce Willis starts saying "poop" instead of "shit", I get really fucking pissed off.

Wrong (1)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098463)

Some programs are so packed with product placements that they are approaching the appearance of infomercials.

This is absolute rubbish. No modern media source would do this these days.

This post was brought to you by philscorner.org

NOT so bad? (1)

Snover (469130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098466)

If increasing the amount of product placements can reduce the interruptions (read: commercials) during television programmes, I'm all for it. Of course, that's probably not how it's going to work, but it would be nice.

It's not just me. (1)

gostats (647325) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098469)

It looks like I'm not the only one who felt like Castaway was a 2 hour Fedex commercial.

This is beyond stupid (1)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098471)

These idiots would have us believe that we're on a collision course to the sort of product placement that was featured in the Truman Show (stop talking, hawk product to Truman-errr the audience). I don't even notice it 90% of the time unless it's something like a Macintosh being used for something cool (I like Macs, that's why I notice). Who gives a flying fuck about characters drinking coca cola? Your neighbor probably has a six pack of it in his/her house. Why the hell can't a character on tv drink it just because they're on TV? What the hell is this, affirmative action for mass market commodities?

Whatever (4, Interesting)

ektor (113899) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098473)

The rise of commercial-skipping Tivo

I seriously doubt Tivos with their puny penetration have anything to do with it. They should blame it on something called the remote control. That and increasing competition for advertising giving greater power to those that hold the money.

I honestly have not seen really obnoxious examples of product placement but then I don't watch much network tv.

This must be stopped! (4, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098478)

Today, I was watching something called the "Home Shopping Network", and the amount of product placement was truely appalling! Really! The government needs to do something about this!

Placements are c00 (1)

UltraSkuzzi (682384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098482)

The government should have no control over what networks do, advertising or otherwise. I don't like network 'placements' any more then the next guy, but when you allow the government any control, you are walking a slippery slope. If you don't like it don't watch the show.

I must be desensitized to it (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098492)

I haven't noticed product placement in a long time. I've noticed the WWE endorsing the Rock's new movie, if that counts.

I say let them pollute TV with product placement, if ppl get tired of it, they'll go on the net.

Re:I must be desensitized to it (1)

yeremein (678037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098550)

I say let them pollute TV with product placement, if ppl get tired of it, they'll go on the net.

Of course. We all know the 'net is a safe haven free from product placement.

You've got to be kidding me. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098504)

What was that noise? Oh. That was the noise of the entire slashdot readership rolling their eyes.

Normally I wouldn't presume to speak for all of us.

Perhaps they should start complaining when they have an example of an actual bad thing that happened, and then show how regulation could and should prevent it.

If HBO wants to show all it's characters living it up with Perrier-Jouet champagne, that's up to them. Hell. They even show a character drunk on Perrier-Jouet stick her head out of a limosine and die. Is that a good enough warning for you? Where's an example of a product placed and used in a fashion that would cause someone to buy it with false expectations?

He said she said blah blah blah (4, Insightful)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098515)

Smoking in teenagers and watching films showing smoking

What kind of title is this really? To use something not even written properly is digraceful I mean what teh fsck? [source listed on pdf [bmjjournals.com]]

Hollywood needs to stop promoting smoking worldwide

What ever happened to freedom of choice? Philip Morris co isn't forcing anyone to smoke, nor is Hollywood. People make their own decisions and not some advertiser.

The tobacco industry recruits and retains smokers by associating its products with excitement, sex, wealth, rebellion, and independence. Films are a powerful way to make this connection---and, as a paper in this week's issue of Tobacco Control shows,1 they succeed.

Retains smokers with sex, wealth, rebellion? Shit where is my money, and sex? I smoke because I choose to, and I know the consequences of my actions. I am not being misled by anyone but myself for smoking. These lobby groups distort facts, and this request is ridiculous. Personally I think this group should have specified a "specific" company, as their current demand can affect anyone advertising. Say someone on Friends drinking Pepsi, get realistic what would they expect a cloudy dot around anything with a label? Oh Please, Patriot Act for advertising now. Shoddy article, unrealistic demand.

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7098521)

Obligatory obligatory comment that has nothing to do with the article but seemed funny at the time.

If they suceed (1)

Denver_80203 (570689) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098534)

What will movies be like? just big white screens? everything would have to take place in the woods between naked people. Hmmmm... maybe this is a good idea after all.

We are not their customers (0)

ThenAgain (627263) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098540)

Everyone seems to forget three simple rules about television:

Joe Viewer is NOT the actors's customer, the producer is.

Joe Viewer is NOT the producer's customer, the network is.

Joe Viewer is NOT the network's customer, Pepsi is.

They have to pay for the shows somehow (2, Insightful)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098542)

I love my Tivo! I can't imagine going back to the stone age of TV and having to watch on someone elses schedule.

That said, I also realize that they have to pay for the programming somehow. With Tivo like DVRs really taking off (I heard DirectTV is selling a on of Tivo based DVRs) it is putting the stations cash cows in jeopardy. Personally I'd much rather have some product placment in the show then have to pay more than I already do for programming.

I do agree that there will need to be some regulation on these placements to bring them in line with more conventional commercials.

Advertising and gov't rights (0)

GarbanzoBean (695162) | more than 10 years ago | (#7098544)

For a token fee, the govt gives broadcasters a protection and the means to make money. In return, it and us (since this is the govt of the people), we can ask the channels to provide public service (actually is required of the channels). So this is not a question of whether we have a right to ask broadcasters to do something. We do, since we give them the ability to broadcast.

If NBC/ABC/CBS doesn't like it, they should pay the whole fee for bandwidth (like the 3G services) plus a monthly rate.
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