Question of the week: what do you think of product placement?

Running Wilde's KFC product placement

Product placement is all the rage – well, it is in the US, but it’ll be true of the UK soon. Yes, UK viewers, soon you’ll be able to see all your favourite products displayed prominently in TV programmes in an entirely natural and seamless manner.

There are benefits to advertisers. Unlike commercials, you can’t forward wind through product placement. When the programme gets sold on DVDs, overseas and online, there it still is. Even if someone downloads it illegally and doesn’t watch it on TV, that product placement still gets viewed. That’s why advertisers have to spend so much to place their products in a programme. All that lovely product placement money, in fact, can be enough to spell the difference between survival and cancellation (at least on NBC, where Heroes and Chuck survived purely because of product placement money).

Now some people might find this irritating. They might feel this corrupts the purity of TV’s “artitude”. Others will just find it incredibly distracting, since it’s rarely integrated as well as might be hoped.

So this week’s question is:

What do you think of product placement? Is it a necessary and even acceptable evil? Or is it distracting and irritating?

As always, leave a comment with your answer or a link to your answer on your own blog