FTC Says Product Placement Need Not Be Disclosed
Advertisers jumped gleefully into the air yesterday when the FTC decided not to require the disclosure of product placements on television. While the decision is not an indication of endorsement of the practice one way or the other by the FTC, it felt issuing one broad rule for all product placement was not the best way to go. The FTC, later, plans to examine celebrity endorsements on talk shows, entertainment and news programming.
Without surprise, Commercial Alert, the Ralph Nader group that proposed the rule requiring all product placements to be disclosed at the start of the show and during the placement, with the word "advertisement" on the screen, is pissed. Commercial Alert Executive Director Gary Ruskin said the FTC's position is out of date and "based on a totally antiquated notion that advertising persuades only through objective claims, and not imagery."
While this may be a coup for the advertising industry, we hope it doesn't open up a free for all product placement explosion. We also hope marketers allow the writers of shows in which products will be placed more creative control so placements don't look forced