FCC To Reevaluate "Embedded Advertising" On Television

The FCC has announced that they will be examining the practice of “embedded advertising” on television and will decide on what additional disclosure messages should be provided to protect the audience. This differs from simple product placement in that embedded advertising interweaves products into plot lines and dialogue, essentially, transforming a normal scene into an advertisement. The FCC contends that additional disclosure messages are necessary to protect viewers who may not be aware that advertisers are paying to have their products written into the plots of TV shows. Details, inside…

The article says,

Among examples cited by critics are episodes of the family-oriented show “7th Heaven,” which included plot lines revolving around Oreo cookies. Other examples include “The Office” in which characters work at a Staples office supply store; a “CSI” show in which characters promote features of a General Motors vehicle; and a “Smallville” episode in which the dialogue included the line “Acuvue to the rescue,” a reference to the contact lens maker.

7th Heaven provides a sparkling example of embedded advertising. Below, the characters are so busy choking down Oreos that they can barely spit out their dialogue.

In another scene, we hear the dialogue, “How about some cookies and milk? Oreos? It’s my favorite. Hey, mine too!” It seems that Nabisco is so vain that they even have to change the time-honored phrase “milk and cookies” to “cookies and milk.”

The AP says,

Writers, who have to incorporate products into scripts, and actors, who shill for products without getting paid for it, are especially unhappy.

The Writers Guild of America West, a union that represents Hollywood television and film screenwriters, wants “real time” disclosure at the time the product is mentioned, like a text “crawl” at the bottom of the screen.

“Since DVRs and other such devices allow viewers to skip or fast forward through opening and closing credits, requiring disclosure at some other moment in the programming will simply not offer adequate protection,” wrote Patric Verrone, president of the organization, in a letter to Martin.

Jeffrey Perlman with the American Advertising Federation said running a crawl is an “absolutely terrible idea” and that it would be “terribly disruptive” for television viewers.

We suppose some additional disclosure is a decent idea but we’re not exactly sure who the FCC is trying to protect. Does the FCC think that there are people out there (besides children) that believe that these TV characters are real people who are actually enjoying these products? Who exactly would benefit from additional disclosure? Naturally, Consumerists are much too savvy to become unwitting victims of embedded advertising. In fact, we’re so savvy that we don’t even feel like grabbing a gallon of cold milk and devouring a sleeve of creamy, crunchy, delicious Oreo cookies.

FCC may put stealthy advertising on audience radar [AP] (Thanks to Dan!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Overheal says:

    I dunno. I think I’d rather do away with commercials altogether and trade them for the embedded advertising to be honest :p

  2. nfs says:

    How about trying to protect from interruptions? Like how TBS does freezes a family guy show randomly to have bill engvall advertise his show?

  3. PinkBox says:

    Wouldn’t the crawl at the bottom of the screen provide even more advertisement for the product it is outing as an advertisement?

  4. karmaghost says:

    My worst experience with embedded advertising was the season 2 premiere of Heroes, where Claire’s dad gave her a Nissan Rouge, I think. Later in the same episode, it was stolen. I guess they only paid for one episode’s worth of advertising.

  5. @nfs: You think those are bad? Here’s your sign.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    Anyone not intelligent enough to realize what is being done probably can’t read the warning anyway.

  7. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Running a crawl at the bottom of the screen is disruptive? How about the Olympics animation that takes up the bottom 1/4 of the screen?

    Would you rather people mention real products in shows, or just have more commercials? How do you think networks pay for shows?

  8. JollyJumjuck says:

    So does Makeup have to clean the actors’ teeth every time they take a bite of an Oreo?

    Seriously, this is getting more and more pathetic. Commercials to break up the show, plus commercials within the show, plus the cable bill just keeps going up and up. No wonder I download all my shows.

  9. Angryrider says:

    They’re investigating “Product Integration?” Anyone moved by this has got to be freakin’ naive. I could care less about Shawn and Gus having a bowl of “Fruity Puffs,” while Hiro wrecks his Nissan Versa, and the GE convection oven blows up setting someone’s house ablaze.

  10. moore850 says:

    Embedded advertising gives me a huge headache, thank goodness for this huge bottle of Tylenol I always have handy.

  11. battra92 says:

    But Burns and Allen just really like Carnation milk and Fibber McGee just really HATES hearing about Johnson’s Wax!

    I’m more for banning the shrinking of the credits to a sliver and the stupid crap that shows up at the bottom of the screen during the show advertising something else.

    Reason #2342346 why I watch DVDs instead of live television.

  12. post_break says:

    How about when you are watching you’re favorite show and an OSX like dock shows up and covers nearly 1/4 of the screen. I have seen it happen three times now and it really pisses me off. I forget if it is NBC or VH1 but it has ruined a few episodes of the office that I record and like to play back on my ipod.

  13. @karmaghost: The Rogue showed up later when Sylar and the Mexican twins killed the guy driving it to get across the border. Still, it was nowhere near as prevalent as the Nissan Versa (I still think of “Heroes” whenever I see one of those on the road).

  14. Daemon_of_Waffle says:

    Nissan Versa! Nissan Versa!

  15. crackle says:

    The text crawl IS a terrible idea. At least commercials can be forwarded through. But if we get rid of advertisements entirely, there’s going to be embedded advertising in everything, making the show unwatchable.

    In truth, real life is all about embedded advertising. Considering our consumerist personalities, we’re always talking about Heineken or Gucci. Stuff like that doesn’t come across as fake in shows. But I can see how an excess would be disgusting.

  16. crackle says:

    *But if we get rid of commercials entirely,

  17. Klaus_Kinsky says:

    Nice juxtaposition of this story and the public phone. Perhaps the FCC should spend less time worrying about content on TV and more time on public phone providers price gouging.

  18. ClayS says:

    I think I’m as much pro-business as anyone else, but the notion of advertisers paying to have plugs for their products written into TV scripts is seriously disturbing.

  19. ClayS says:

    If you remember way back when, one of the original, highly-touted benefits of cable televsion was that there would be no advertising.

  20. Kaisum says:

    There should be two types of cable:

    The free kind that is bombarded with ads like we have now.

    The kind you pay for that has no ads.

    But hey who would make money off of that right? Absolutely ridiculous. Let’s continue to educate our college grads in the way of down sizing, cutting corners, and get those profits way way up guys!

  21. Bladefist says:

    Nothing feels better like paying to see ads

  22. PinkBox says:

    @doctor_cos: They are both disruptive.

  23. @battra92: Exactly what I was thinking. :D

  24. macinjosh says:

    Ya know, we oughta throw out that mower….get one of those new Elk Rotaries.

  25. bravo369 says:

    I just hate the animations at the bottom of the screen. TNT is the worst with it. I was watching a movie and there was a part that had subtitles but of course i couldn’t read them because it was right at the exact momemnt TNT decided to have kyra segwick walk across the bottom of the screen to promote the season premier of the closer. i swear, someone should have been fired for that.

  26. christoj879 says:

    How long does it take to eat an Oreo? Even while talking — seriously.

  27. SacraBos says:

    Jeffrey Perlman with the American Advertising Federation said running a crawl is an “absolutely terrible idea” and that it would be “terribly disruptive” for television viewers.

    Is he kidding? That doesn’t seem to stop them from advertising every other show in their network with some animated junk flashing around the bottom 25% of the screen during the program you’re trying to watch. Yes, it’s terribly disruptive, but it’s okay when your idea, I guess.

  28. sharki3232 says:

    “Protect the viewers”? What are we children? If this is the kind of crap the FCC wastes it’s time with, then the agency needs to be shut down. Unless the advertising is false, there is no reason for the government to get involved.

  29. mike says:

    I’m going to tell you why this is wrong. As I type on my very comfortable Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard, my wrists are incredibly comfortable because of the 12-degree tilt that only Microsoft offers. It allows me to type my complaints about product integration to the consumerist.com with ease and simplicity. After I take a drink from my Nalgene bottle, I’m reminded of the cool breeze that I faced when I was hiking the foothills of Europe with my L.L. Bean backpack.

  30. thrillwill says:

    Conspiracy alert: This is probably down to the fact that SAG (Actors Guild) is about to walk (well not quite but we’re getting there) because they don’t get paid to do the product plugs. Hence they want them to go away or pay out.

    More importantly they’re raising a lot of attention to the issue. So I suspect the poor incompetent FCC just wants to look like it’s ‘in the know’ about these issues.

    On a personal note I would prefer Product Integration (Or adverlingus as they call it on 30 Rock) to the way add breaks are handled now. You have no idea what effect those add breaks have on the writing of TV shows. Writers have to factor them into the story to make sure there is a ‘hook’ to keep the viewers interested through the adds. This wreaks havoc on a story’s pace and timing. But hey I’m a writer so I guess I’m biased.

  31. arsbadmojo says:


    Absolutely, TNT is HORRIBLE with those #@%$ animations!

    Is it just me, or has it gottena lot worse within the past 5 years? I just don’t remember feeling marketed to death in the past. The network ‘bug’ in the corner is horrible enough.

  32. DrBologna says:

    I love how a crawl disclosing a show’s shitty whoredom to an advertiser would be “terribly disruptive” for television viewers.” I wonder what that guy would call the “crawl” for the Bill Engvall show on TBS, during which he actually fucking pauses Family Guy.

    I’d imagine that, since that crawl is the advertisement, he would say that it is in the viewer’s best interest to see it, and would be aghast at any attempt to have it removed.

  33. Coles_Law says:

    Wow. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes lampooned this years ago.

    Personally, I don’t mind, so long as it isn’t glaring. “Hey! A Jello mold!” sounds a lot better than “Hey! A gelatinous dessert mold!” for example.

  34. RandomHookup says:


    There should be two types of cable:

    The kind you pay for that has no ads.

    Kinda like movies? What’s the going rate for product placement these days?

  35. coan_net says:

    I would rather see a 1/2 hour show last for 30 minutes and just “embed” a few commercials into the 30 minute show.

    Anyway, who cares – I don’t mind. For years – YEARS – MANY MANY years, in movies & TV – looking around you could always see perfectly placed cans of Pepsi or Coke sitting on a table – ALWAYS with the logo towards the screen.

  36. youbastid says:

    @Bladefist: I’m impressed, you haven’t found a way to blame this on the liberals yet.

    Anyway, anyone that knows a little TV history would remember that back in the day, entire shows were sponsored by one company and the product would always be worked into the script. It’s just an evolved version of the old system.

  37. tinky XIII says:

    It’s getting to the point that I just torrent the shows I want to watch to avoid having half of the screen taken up by advertisements for shows I will never watch and products I never use.

    I saw that Bill Engvall pause commercial once and swore I would never watch TBS or TNT ever again.

    On a related note, I can’t stand when the credits are shrunken down to a small box and an announcer comes on to tell you what’s on next… especially when the show is continuing through the credits, as Transformers: Animated did with it’s finale this weekend.

  38. Myrddraal says:

    ” Target=”_BLANK”>”It’s like people only do things because they get paid, and that’s just really sad”

  39. Xerloq says:

    Most of these write-in ads are so blatantly obvious, only the seriously impaired would be ‘influenced’ by them. I don’t think consumers need to be warned by the FCC about this, nor should there be additional disclaimers on these shows.

    Who doesn’t understand that television shows are supported by ad revenue? Don’t people know that audiences are the true product of television; that TV shows are being paid to produce you!

    It’s the commercials on paid-for-cable that have me miffed, but that’s a different issue.

  40. Myrddraal says:

    “It’s like people only do things because they get paid, and that’s just really sad”

  41. fuzzymuffins says:

    ads have been… and always will be ‘everywhere’. i don’t care if oreos or nissans or cokes or apple computers get placed as everyday items in a tv show or a movie.

    ’embedded placement’ won’t get me to buy. james bond driving a BMW won’t entice me to buy one. i could care less what fictional characters eat, drive and consume…

    now a friend or acquaintance who says “hey, this is pretty good, check it out”… that i’ll believe.

    advertising is FICTION anyways…

  42. Myrddraal says:

    I am so sick of forms editing html on me

  43. Youthier says:

    This same season of 7th Heaven also featured a two-episode arc about Campbell’s Soup and no, I am not kidding. (I watched purely to mock, which does make me pathetic I realize).

    The only time product placement ever worked for me was Arrested Development. In Motherboy XXX, when Carl Weathers and Tobias go to Burger King? I mean, the original episode title was “The Tendercrisp Chicken Comedy Half-Hour” (until FOX made them change it). If a show can incorporate with genius, I will purchase that product.

  44. MeOhMy says:

    “Maybe I’m wrong on this one, but for me “the beast” doesn’t include selling out.”

    + Watch video

  45. Bladefist says:

    @youbastid: No, I didn’t address the political aspect of it. I can find ways.

  46. cothebadger says:

    Hah! You beat me to the punch while I was looking it up!

    Carl Weathers: [at Burger King] I’m going to go get a refill. You know you can get a refill on any drink you want?
    Tobias Fünke: It’s a great restaurant!
    Narrator: It sure is!

  47. darksunfox says:

    The movie “Evolution” and a certain P&G product come to mind…

  48. PinkBox says:

    I see companies like Netflix getting more and more business because of these practices.

    I need to cancel my cable service. I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched a show that wasn’t on DVD.

  49. rmz says:

    Product placement in television usually doesn’t bother me. Now, the Apple product placement in Metal Gear Solid 4 stood out to me, though. In the not-too-distant future, people are still using present-day Apple Powerbooks and iPods while saving the world, I guess.

  50. Haplo9000 says:

    I can’t lie…some Oreo’s sound pretty good right about now.

  51. Kaisum says:

    @RandomHookup: What movie have you seen that didn’t have advertisements? Because I want to go to your movie theater.

  52. apotheosis says:

    Simple solution: watch nothing but post-apocalyptic sci-fi. BSG has never rammed a single product down my throat…that I know of.

    Unless you count a vague subliminal thrill at the sight of a curvaceous toaster.

  53. MayorBee says:

    It’s still better than the personalized ads that were in Minority Report. How would you like to be walking down in a mall and the poster nearest you addresses you by name? Or, better yet, what if people on the street were paid by the number of mentions of a product?

    /this message brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

  54. rmz says:

    @apotheosis: Ruined billboards for Coke and burned-out Wal-Mart trucks. Easy. :)

  55. JDAC says:

    I prefer it when the real product name is used, but it’s never natural. For instance, in the last season of Dead Zone, there were these fucking awful bits where John was paying for things with his VISA! It was so convenient! Just tap and go, with his VISA! His wallet was stolen, but returned. But it didn’t have any cash, just his VISA! Maybe it was because the horse race was sponsored by VISA!

    I grew up in England watching kids BBC shows like Blue Peter. For the longest time I wondered what sticky-back plastic was, why didn’t they just use Sellotape?

    In closing, keep it real, but please, act real too.

  56. ironchef says:

    Smallville’s one of the worst whores for advertising.

    They had one episode focused at the Stride Gum factory and one of the characters started chewing a pack of Stride gum tainted with Kryptonite.

  57. apotheosis says:


    …crap. :(

  58. Bladefist says:

    @ironchef: Smallville is by far my most favorite show. I go from Adult Male to school girl when it’s on. I was writing the same comment you were, but I erased it. I couldn’t speak badly about my baby.

    But you’re right. They do whore that shit bad. That episode was ruined.

  59. witeowl says:

    Count me in with the “rather have product placement than more, or ‘un-fast-forward-able’, commercial breaks” camp. Or those damn break-in bottom of screen commercials, particularly when they make noise; those are beyond irritating.

    On top of that, I have to admire the biting tongue-in-cheek tone the host and judges of American Idol used for their Coke and Apple tie-ins.

    Have a disclaimer if we must, I guess, but… must we? I mean, is there anyone who would say, hey, Hiro likes grape nehi’s, so I must like grape nehi’s? Wait, nevermind. I already know the answer. /sigh

  60. SOhp101 says:

    @ironchef: LOL! Really? Wow, I suppose I should be up in arms about this, but all the shows I watch never do shameful stuff like this, but if they do (late night talk shows) then it’s blatantly obvious.

    Although there could be an argument that an entire episode about a Stride Gum factory and gum tainted w/ kryptonite is obvious enough.

  61. failurate says:

    What sucks is that the Nissan Versa is actually a decent car. But if I broke down and bought one, I feel like I would be caving in to the brain washing I received in Heroes Season 1.

  62. @nfs: Exactly, I hate that so much!!

  63. smartmuffin says:

    This is the most ridiculous thing in the world.

    Doesn’t the supposed need to “protect the consumer” directly imply that the consumer is so moronic that they would buy a product simply because it appears on a TV show?

    I can’t wait until all TV becomes like MTV, where logos on t-shirts have to be blurred out because they’re so concerned that someone might be trying to advertise something.

  64. donkeyjote says:

    Those are the most retarded examples evar. All of those things happen in real life… People babbling about how they both like the same kind of cookie? Someone saying a catchy phrase from a commercial when it (both the product and the phrase) work?

    Now ironchef has a good example.

    @apotheosis: Or pre-industrial fantasy or pre-ww2 war epics. Can’t pitch products that haven’t been invented. No coca cola in medieval Europe and no Zune’s in Middle Earth.

  65. donkeyjote says:

    @smartmuffin: Most reality tv already does that. And most tv shows too. Look at laptops having their logo’s covered.

  66. smartmuffin says:

    @donkeyjote: Ugh, why am I not surprised. I don’t watch much TV these days, but this is just sad. Of all the things the government needs to protect us from, this wouldn’t even make the top 100.

  67. Scuba Steve says:

    @karmaghost: You must have missed the episode where the Japanese Guy (Hiro) gets a Nissan Versa!

    The Whole episode was him saying it over and over again, which was one of the low points in the series.

  68. this is why i love netflix

  69. @Youthier: yeah, but carl weathers was hilarious and the advertising worked. i still won’t touch bk with ten foot pole. “hey, do you guys have free refills?”

  70. Mr. Gunn says:

    If I was an actor or screenwriter, I’d be insulted that I had to write in or act this crap. I’d also gladly pay more for ad-free cable, but unfortunately the cable companies failure to offer such is going to kill them in favor of the streamed/downloaded programming that they hate so much.

    Here’s an open letter to all executives:

    Yes, y’all did a great thing by developing and growing your business, but that doesn’t mean you get to sit on your ass and just reap the rewards now. Sorry, I know it’s not fair, but you’ve got to innovate or die, and someone should have told you that when you were starting out in your career. It’s possible to stall things just until you retire, which is apparently the record industry’s plan, but it’s a crappy thing to do. Yes, you’re entitled to do it, and perhaps it’s a little unfair to expect you to work hard and solve problems and then step aside just when you got things working, but it’s kinda the way things have to go. Either retire early, work on your golf game and travel the world and let the next generation solve the next set of problems, or realize that all your decades of work entitles you to nothing, and you have to start all over again in a new market. Those are your choices, and it just sucks that no one told you this when you started out. In the grand scheme of things, you’re actually in a better situation than most, because you actually get to choose to take on a whole new set of hard problems or relinquish responsibility for them with no guilt. Either choice is exciting and new, and both would be better for everyone than simply trying to preserve the status quo.

  71. Youthier says:

    @coan_net: Yeah, I have to say, most of it doesn’t bother me. I find the stupid, made-up brand names more distracting.

    Honestly, I do wonder how effective it is though. I would consider my mom a pretty good representation of the average American – average intelligence (maybe even higher), high school graduate… it took her 4 seasons of American Idol before she noticed that it’s sponsored by Coke.

  72. legotech says:

    The one that drove me nuts wasn’t even on TV…in Iron Man this multi billionaire comes back from being held prisoner for three months and tells his driver to get him a cheeseburger and the guy hands him BURGER KING???? Are you KIDDING ME?? If I was Stark I’d have kicked the guy’s ass for buying me Burger King…anyone who grew up in SoCal knows its In and Out or nothin’

  73. shockwaver says:

    To all the people that are annoyed at the Bill Engval crap on Family Guy, one thing I’ve noticed is that it pauses at the last half second before the commercial break, so it’s not actually interrupting the show in the middle, only shaving off .5 seconds of dialog at the end before going to commercial. Still annoying as hell, especially since it’s mixed at a higher volume then the rest of the show.

    Instead of FCC going after this crap, make it illegal to play commercials at twice the volume of a tv show.

  74. tinky XIII says:

    @donkeyjote: It’s funny, I randomly tuned into an episode of Biggest Loser a few months ago and a few of the contestants were awkwardly, and very badly, shilling for some tiny popcorn bags. It was so terrible that I hope they got compensated for losing their dignity like that.

    The bad part is I’m pretty sure I remember logos being covered up earlier in the show.

  75. incognit000 says:

    What’s that FCC? You’re telling me to continue not getting cable TV? Yeah, all right, I /do/ need that money to buy beer and pornography…

  76. tinky XIII says:

    @shockwaver: Yeah, but how often does the FCC do something that’s constructive?

  77. pinkyracer says:

    actually, I’d rather see some corporate logo in the bottom corner, replacing the TV channel’s logo during the in-show ad. As in, I’d rather see that then have to ffwd through 2 minutes of absolute crap. US TV ads are so despicable that if they can write stuff into a show instead of forcing their vile attempts at sales pitches onto us I’d probably buy their shit out of pure gratitude for them finally being creative.

  78. AD8BC says:

    @youbastid: Hey, you can’t blame everything on the liberals….

    Just most things…


  79. Dillenger69 says:

    @MayorBee: Dang … beat me to the Carl’s Junior punch.

    I’d gladly watch product placement to eliminate commercial breaks. It might even help with immersion and realism. THey could even collect ad revenue each time the show aired in reruns.

    I’m sure they want to avoid product placement in bad/canceled shows. Not to mention it removes the ability for the network to find different sponsors for a given show, should the ad price go up.

    I think bottom crawl is the best compromise if they want ads running.

    Of course, eventually we’ll end up with this.

  80. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Has anyone here seen “The Loop?” One of the best shows ever…though it got canceled.

    They did a whole episode that made fun of product placement, while ironically revolving around Stride gum. They had boarding passes printed on Stride gum, the interior of the planes decked out in Stride colors (and the inflight movie was “Striderman 2″ – on a flight to Cincistride”

  81. DanPVD says:

    Oh man…Dwight worked at a Staples store for an episode…it was so scary. Where was the FCC to protect me from laughing?

  82. Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance as soon as some knucklehead blames Bush’s FCC for not putting a stop to this practice, which obviously only benefits his Big Oil/Pharma/Agro/etc. pals.

  83. rmz says:

    @DanPVD: Yeah, The Office usually works its product placement into the context of the show so well that it really doesn’t detract from anything. Hooters, Sandals, iPods, Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and all of those sorts of things are usually always mentioned/shown in passing, or would be something that the characters would conceivably be doing in real life anyway. If something crosses that line and makes its product-placement nature more conspicuous, then I’d maybe get annoyed about it. Hasn’t happened yet.

  84. @Bladefist: Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance as soon as some knucklehead blames Bush’s FCC for not putting a stop to this practice, which obviously only benefits his Big Oil/Pharma/Agro/etc. pals.

  85. trujunglist says:


    For a second there I thought you were talking about something else.

    That Oreo episode sounds like crap and very annoying, but then again, so is that show, and whoever watches it probably doesn’t mind because fuck.. they’re watching 7th Fucking Heaven. Showing an Apple computer because some character needs to hack the bad guys bank account? Not a big deal.
    The whole having real-life products in shows/movies is just a way to make it more realistic, just as long as they’re not going out of their way to promote it. “Mmm, I really love to dunk my creamy on the inside chocolatey and crunchy on the outside Oreo into my Thermos of Mountain Dairy milk.” No one talks like that.
    Then again, I kind of liked it when they had to do cheesy stuff like covering the e in Sprite.

  86. Bladefist says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: I’m curious how many liberals are secretly following me, waiting for me to screw up.

  87. RandomHookup says:

    @Kaisum: Sorry, my attempt at humor missed its intended target. Guess I need to crank up the sarcasm meter.

  88. donkeyjote says:

    @trujunglist: Little kids talk like that…

  89. snoop-blog says:

    Am I the only one who realizes that it you can read the label on a product on t.v., they either had to get permission or were paid to do so. So when everybody on csi not only has an Iphone, but obnoxiously use it to show mugshots, I know that while it may be likely the stars have Iphones, it’s more likely a paid advertisement for Apple. Besides if you buy a product just because your favorite t.v. persona (because the characters are freaking ficticious) does then you really are a sucker.

  90. therealhomerjaysimpson says:

    Grow the hell up people. This is yet another way of the government justifying its own bloated existence by wasting my tax money on something over which it has zero Constitutional authority (not that a little thing like that has ever stopped any givernment agency, and most certainly not the all-knowing moral authority that is Kevin Martin’s FCC). Use your goddamned remote controls and turn off the TV if you don’t like ads, be they in the content or as commercials.

    Guess what–producing things ain’t free, despite your idiotic whining. You don’t like paying for content, you don’t like the content’s owners to you know, actually OWN the work they created, you don’t want the costs to be defrayed by having sponsors pay for some of the content.

    Do you work for free? Didn’t think so.

    This is sadly typical of the mindset in this country and on The Consumerist. We get it. Companies are bad. Capitalism is bad. No one has the right to make any more profits than what some slacker in his mommy’s basement thinks is acceptable, all because he won’t get off his lazy ass and work.

    Yeah! Sitck it to the man!!!!!

    And in the meantime you have pathetic excuses for writers who can’t be bothered with fact checking here at the Consumerist–but why let that stop them. They invent facts that don’t exist, think an occassional typo on a Wal-Mart sign is worthy of a boldfaced snarky headline and generally pretent to be holier-than-thou because they’re sticking up for the little guy. Yet where is the glaring headline when they get something dead wrong? It doesn’t exitst. If they’re caught on making something up, they just change the story but don’t hold themselves accountable.

    Stop expecting the government to be your damned nanny. Take responsibility for yourself and stop watching things you don’t like. You don’t have some God-given right to free entertainment. Go read a f-ing book if TV is all that bad.

  91. kable2 says:

    The king of queens is king of product placement.

    watch a episode and take a drink every time they talk / show a product and you will be way drunk by the time its over. seriously the show was almost one big ad

    ‘arbys coupons are as good as money here’

    ‘keri, i am heating my hot pocket’

    ‘who ate my toster strudle’

    ‘dont forget to buy me doritos at the supermarket keri’

    ‘pizza hut’

    etc etc etc

  92. AdamG says:

    So the FCC has to protect me from when a character uses a product in a fictional piece? How about when the actor tells me that a product is great and use their real name?

  93. JDAC says:

    @therealhomerjaysimpson: It’s always amusing when people who complain about whining really like to get their whine on.

    Longest post of the thread too! How proud you must be on your sanctipony.

  94. christoj879 says:

    @therealhomerjaysimpson: No apologies? [consumerist.com]

    Please FOAD :-)

  95. MercuryPDX says:


    One has to wonder why you’re even here….

    therealhomerjaysimpson commented on FCC To Reevaluate “Embedded Advertising” On Television

    “Grow the hell up people.”
    therealhomerjaysimpson commented on Ben Popken On TV Talking ‘Bout Shrinking Packages

    “Oh please. Ben, you would gripe either way.”
    therealhomerjaysimpson commented on Walmart “Junior” Panties Suggest That Your Genitals Are Better Than Credit Cards

    “This is yet another example of the meaningless “news” this site posts.”
    therealhomerjaysimpson commented on Too Sexy For Southwest Airlines Woman Poses Nude

    “How is this even remotely considered consumer news?”

  96. goodywitch says:

    The mentality isn’t “my fav character used X, so I must use X also” but rather a “which brand should I use? I’ve heard of X, so it must be a good brand.” Unless all of your products are generic, chances are that you went along with this same mentality. Having disclaimers while the show is running will just re-enforce this type of thinking.

    But, if they did this at the beginning of the show “this program was brought to you by…” and then the product placement was done, then watching the show would be more fun. Seriously, that was the first time in years that I saw “Seventh Heaven” and actually found it entertaining.

  97. tweemo says:

    The first season of Kyle XY is the best.
    “Whoa, these Sour Patch Kids are different.” “Yeah, they’re the new Extreme Sour Patch Kids.”

  98. El_Fez says:

    So how is this different from what they did in the 50’s? They used to buy up whole programs on the radio and TV, and used to have integrated commercials in the show. I’d rather go back to that than have breaks every five minutes.