US Law Body Defends Product Placement

02 April 2004

A US law association has told regulators that marketers have a right to use product placement in TV shows.

The Washington Legal Foundation, a non-profit group that describes itself as a "public interest law firm", last week defended the practice in a filing with the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. It argued that "product placement is a longstanding and legitimate form of commercial speech."

The filing is a response to a petition launched last year by pressure group Commercial Alert, which called product placement "an affront to basic honesty" [WAMN: 02-Oct-03]. CA -- co-founded by veteran consumerist Ralph Nader -- wants broadcasters to announce before a show starts if advertisers have paid for their brands to be featured, and to provide further warnings whenever these products are shown.

The WLF believes these proposals would hurt TV production firms and effectively ban product placement "to the detriment of viewers".

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