Product placement and the FCC

Img_2608 Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says he wants to examine product placement on TV.

"I believe it is important for consumers to know when someone is trying to sell them something and that is it is appropriate for the commission to examine these issues."

Hmm.  The thing about product placement is that it’s not clear there is any selling going on.  Marketers are so unhappy about being TIVOed out of existence that they are happy merely to get things on TV.  They don’t get to control how products appear there.  They don’t get to build a brand proposition.  They don’t actually make a pitch of any kind.  They merely to get the product on TV.  Marketing, it’s come to this. 

As I say, there’s no selling going on. 


Teinowitz, Ira.  2007.  FCC May Examine Product-Placement Rules: Chairman Kevin Martin Proposes Inquiry as Networks, Marketers Increase Integration.  Ad Age.  November 29, 2007.  here

4 thoughts on “Product placement and the FCC”

  1. Et tu, McCracken? These poor devils are reduced to nibbling these table scraps and you need to point out, repeatedly, that “there’s no selling going on.”

    Pay no attention to the man behind the blog!

  2. All the low, low, low quality and violent programs on tv and we are supposed to worry about product placement and if people (adults?) know they are being sold something? This comment is coming from someone who watches tv, I even watched the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders show on CMT this fall and enjoyed it.
    Probably what the FCC wants is to get a slice of the product placement money through some sort of regulation and then fees or taxes and is presenting that self-interest as protecting consumers.

  3. Kevin Martin has an unhealthy lust for regulation. He’s trying (fortunately with little success so far) to eliminate bundled tiers on cable TV, a sure course to lower program choice and higher prices. He’s constantly trying to intimidate broadcasters over “indecency.” I can only hope that his effort to turn back the clock to 1970s TV and radio continues to sputter.

  4. I disagree. Exhibit A. the introduction of the Nissan Rogue on Heroes last season. Not only did they sponsor the opening (laying waste to my otherwise useful mind with an onslaught of that damned rolling ball-game commercial) but the Hayden P.’s pseudo father drops her with the car she exclaims, “No, not the ROGUE! This thing is awesome!” I held my breath just long enough to see if she would tell me how many airbags it had.

    With the desirability of traditional 30 sec spots waning, Networks must look elsewhere for revenue. Networks will surrender to marketers far more than we give them credit. I am fairly sure the writers strike has something to do with being told by a committee of advertisers that the script should be written in such and such a way as to reflect the opinions of the focus groups (I could be wrong?).

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