Advertisers need a wake-up call, not product placement in new shows


The dismal viewer numbers facing TV networks and advertisers this fall are leading them to do all sorts of tricks to keep putting dollars in the pockets of the entertainment companies and products in front of the eyeballs of consumers. One ramped up approach this season is the integrated product placement that goes so far into the story that shows are weaving story lines around the items.

Of course, this is nothing new. Millions of people have been staring at Coke glasses in front of the judges on American Idol for years, and it was more than 25 years ago that E.T. parceled out Reese's Pieces on the big screen for big bucks. But this year's efforts, as detailed in the L.A. Times, go much further, creating side shows (pun intended) -- like Desperate Housewives extra scene involving Sprint and a Heroes subplot about a Palm Pre.

Originally published