Friday, September 21, 2007

No Place for Undisclosed Product Placement, Says WGA

The WGA told the FCC that product placements in TV shows should be flagged by a crawl on the bottom of the screen alerting viewers to the placement, reports Variety.

The WGA wants the crawl to identify the product and the sponsor, and include a disclaimer that the writers and actors don't endorse the product. (No word about the directors.) In my opinion, the idea of a crawl doesn't have legs.

The writers are also seeking consultation rights on placements. That's a possibility, though not likely. The whole issue has no economic impact on writers, and is posturing more than anything else.

Actors have a bigger problem with product placements - they call them "forced endorsements," because the actor (through his or her character) is forced to seemingly endorse the product, and receives no extra compensation for it. I predict the new contract being negotiated next year will give them a (small) piece of the action.

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