NYT Story On Branded Entertainment Takes A Stand

I really don’t have a strong opinion on branded entertainment on TV–it’s really nothing new. But this story in the New York Times, written by Louise Story, certainly has a odd tone to it:

One of the more popular tricks — oops, I meant to say tactics — advertisers are using today is branded entertainment, which ranges from plopping a Pepsi can into a scene to writing entire television scripts based around Oreo cookies. They like this approach so much that they’re increasing the money they spend on so-called product integrations at double-digit rates, making it one of the faster growth areas for an otherwise stalled television industry.
But does product integration dupe consumers? The Federal Communications Commission is considering investigating this question, and the commissioners may add it to their public agenda as early as Tuesday.

Is this a news story or an editorial? Is there a difference anymore? Does the New York Times have an obligation to report a story about branded entertainment without the writer insisting that it’s a “trick” intended to “dupe” consumers? What’s the…uh…story with Story?

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About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.