Speaking at the American Advertising Federation's conference in Dallas, outgoing AAF chairman Carla Michelotti urged advertisers and agencies to take special care when planning branded entertainment deals [WAMN: 11-Jun-04]. Similarly global marketing campaigns.

Michelotti, evp/general counsel at Leo Burnett, told delegates that consumers remain leery over both developments, especially as industry standards for the former are as yet nebulous. "The blending [of marketing with entertainment] is going to be subject to a lot of regulation," she warned.

Ownership of intellectual property was also a minefield for those who want to insinuate their product into a movie or a song, cautioned Michelotti: "There are a variety of people who own intellectual property. One of the most complicated things … is finding who are you doing the deal with."

And there's likewise a plethora of banana-skins strewn in the path of those planning global ad campaigns.

Doug Wood, a New York marketing lawyer, cited a case from Sweden where a print ad had to be withdrawn because its main visual element -- a woman in undergarments seductively eyeing a man -- was viewed as being stereotypical.

Two other examples of ad-provoked culture clashes. Saudi Arabia banned a Benetton ad featuring three kids with their tongues out, "because it's illegal in that country to show a human organ".

And in Malaysia a Toyota ad featuring Brad Pitt fell foul of the locals as it contained nary an indigenous citizen. "The Malaysian authorities thought it was insulting that all [the ad] showed were pretty Caucasians," Wood reported.

The AAF represents 130 corporate members with a collective payroll of 50,000 professionals within the US advertiser, agency and media sectors.

Data sourced from: AdWeek.com; additional content by WARC staff