Sunday, September 13, 2009

This space for hire

British TV will now allow product placement in its programming. Shame. The BBC, at least, will remain resolutely ad-free but the days of the shelves of Corrie's cabin being filled by made-up magazines are soon to be no more. Will Newton and Ridley lose control of the Rover's?

I suppose this was coming. And, in one sense, it will make drama shows less odd. It was perfectly reasonable for Mad Men, for example, to include stories of real companies hiring the firm to plug their new products and, much as I love Don and Betty, I did not feel a great urge to go out and buy Heineken because of its prominence in one of the episodes. It would have been a little odd for a show to set out to evoike a certain period, make reference to known events, be styled scrupulously for the time, but not refer to Kodak, American Airlines and the like.

So, I'm happy to join in. From now on I am open to bids for product placement within my lectures and anything I publish. It's pretty easy for me to drop a few brand names into any philosophical examples I use. I could, for example, refer to a particular rail operator when introducing trolley problems... Well, perhaps not that one. But I could wonder about the quale of drinking a particular Scottish-produced fizzy drink (the one made from girders...). Reasonable rates will apply, of course.

No comments: