You Know What This Scene Needs? A Diet Pepsi.

USA Today is running a story about a firm hoping to capitalize on the growth of product placement. It’s a somewhat pedestrian account, unitl you get to this part:

Hamet Watt, CEO of NextMedium says his firm will keep deals confidential. “To feel organic, it can’t be publicized that the brand paid for placement,” he says.
That’s exactly what worries critics of this trend.
“Undisclosed product placement is dishonest advertising,” says Gary Ruskin, executive director of activist group Commercial Alert. “We’re trying to get Congress to pass legislation prohibiting undisclosed product placement.”

If a brand wants to associate with a popular show, why hide the fact? I fail to see the point.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. It’s definately bullshit. But false advertising? Only if they use the product in some way that misrepresents the product’s function and performance. Like if Trump had promoted Axe body spray on Apprentice and attributed his billions to wearing that product. Ok, bad example. But you know what I mean.

  2. i don’t see why a product placement needs to publicized. if a company chooses to, that’s great, but if they are looking for a more organic integration, they should be able to keep it undisclosed. i don’t see it as dishonest at all, as long as the products use is consistent with its normal attributes.