Wake Up and Smell the Product Placement

McDonald's Golden Arches"Two cups of McDonald's iced coffee (BUY!) sit on the Fox 5 TV news desk" during Las Vegas station KVVU's morning news show, writes Abigail Goldman. It's a "punch-you-in-the-face product placement" that will last six months. KVVU's news director says the "nontraditional revenue source" won't impact his station's reporting. But an executive with the marketing firm that negotiated the deal, Omnicom's Karsh/Hagan, said "the coffee cups would most likely be whisked away if KVVU chooses to report a negative story about McDonald's," reports the New York Times. McDonald's has similar product placement arrangements with "WFLD in Chicago, which is owned and operated by Fox; on KCPQ in Seattle, a Fox affiliate owned by the Tribune Company; and on Univision 41 in New York City." Other stations owned by KVVU parent Meredith Corporation, "including WFSB, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn., and WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta -- are also accepting product placements on their morning shows." The Writers Guild of America West recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to require "real-time disclosure" of product placements and to ban video news releases, calling VNRs "an attempt to trick the viewer to think that a paid advertisement is actually news."


In a situation like this, I just can't see a news director having the ability to fight the suits when the time comes to report on health issues relating to fast food, or anything negative about that industry.
That iced coffee is going to have a different kind of chilling effect than they anticipated. What a terrible idea.

I disagree with the last comment. This is an incredible idea. McDonald’s is one smart company, and knows how to get their name out without using traditional advertising. They use the most powerful companies to continue their success such as Omnicom and 5W Public Relations. Product placement was a great idea to do, which eventually has given them positive PR.

From [http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=129927 Advertising Age]:

KCPQ, a Seattle Fox affiliate owned by Tribune Co., has in the past let McDonald's place logos against certain onscreen elements. Fox's WFLD in Chicago has a man-on-the-street segment in its "Good Day Chicago" program called "Breakfast Buzz," which is sponsored by McDonald's and shot in front of one of the chain's outlets, said Judson Beck, VP-general sales manager, Fox Chicago. The chain's logo is on screen during the segment and viewers are told afterwards that McDonald's was the sponsor, he said.